About Dementia

Many causes lead to dementia, eg, a stroke may damage nerve cells. We should gently refer a person who show signs of dementia to a geriatric doctor to confirm the diagnosis of dementia, so that we can best walk with the person in this difficult journey.

Is dementia common?
Yes, it is, especially among the elderly. One in ten Singaporeans aged 60 and over has dementia. For those over 85, it is one in three.

However, it is not as common as the other chronic health conditions among the seniors, like high blood pressure; high blood cholesterol; cataract; joint pain, arthritis, rheumatism or nerve pain; and diabetes.

Does dementia cause the person to lose his God-given dignity?

Every person is created by God “in His image” (Genesis 1:27). God sees in every one a resemblance to Himself. However, we must never presume humanity to be identical to God. Only Jesus bears “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” (Hebrews 1:3).

God’s love is unconditional, not dependent upon our intellect, abilities, accomplishments, possessions, not even our spirituality. After all, God so loves humanity that He gave His only Son Jesus for the salvation of all who believe in Him (John 3:16).

So we must remember that the loss of memory and other thinking skills do not diminish the high regard God has for humanity. Instead, just as Jesus has loved us, so must we love our neighbour (John 13:34), even our friends and loved ones with dementia.