Singapore Dementia Statistics and Facts

People who are above the age of 65 are at risk of developing Alzheimer’s or vascular dementia. In this guide, we are going to offer an overview of the statistics, facts, and figures you should know about dementia in Singapore.

Dementia Singapore Statistics

Research results from various studies indicate that dementia is now among the most common diseases in Singapore. The growing prevalence of dementia is a concern for government and private healthcare organizations.

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The IMH experts are collaborating with other international investigators for three-year research to study the impact of dementia on the people of Singapore.

According to IMH’s medical board (research), the current concern is whether we have sufficient resources for meeting the present and emerging challenges of providing care to dementia patients.

two men playing chess

Dementia patients suffer from memory loss and have problems finding things and recalling memories. The experts at the Institute of Mental Health reveal that the rise in dementia is because of an increase in obesity and hypertension. Other possible reasons could be the rapidly ageing population of Singapore and the prevalence of stroke and diabetes.

What Percentage Of The Singapore Population Has Dementia?

Stats and facts reveal that dementia affects 5.2% of the total population of Singapore, aged 60 and above. Around 28,00 50 individuals in Singapore aged 60 and above experienced symptoms of dementia, according to findings from 2012 research. More awareness of Dementia can help people improve their caregiving planning.

This number is expected to increase to 80,000 by the year 2030. The same study also revealed that stroke, age, employment, and education are other associated factors.

How Common Is Dementia in Singapore?

The National Neuroscience Institute reveals that Dementia hits most individuals who are 65 years and above. So the chances of getting dementia increase after you are 60 years old and above. While there is no definite cure, the progression of the disease slows down with better care and support. We should aim to develop dementia-friendly communities and incorporate integrated care for providing better support.

What Are The Chances Of Getting Dementia?

While old age is the most common risk factor for Alzheimer’s and other common forms of dementia, it is not the only contributor. Like we mentioned, other contributors such as obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol can also trigger dementia.

Here are the most common reasons for acquiring dementia.

Family History

If you have a strong family history of dementia and Alzheimer’s, you are likely to acquire the condition. For example, if your brother or sister has this cognitive disorder, you are at a higher risk of developing some form of dementia. When illnesses like these run in the family, you may be vulnerable to them even if you live a healthy lifestyle.

Genetics

Scientists are studying the role of genes in cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s. Two categories of genes determine whether an individual will develop a disease: deterministic genes and risk genes. Scientists observed that Alzheimer’s genes are present in both categories. Less than 1% of all Alzheimer’s cases are due to deterministic genes.

Other Risk Factors

Although family history, age, and hereditary conditions are all contributing factors, modern research studies are revealing interesting clues about other risk factors. Scientists conclude that we can reduce the risk of acquiring dementia by embracing a healthy lifestyle and adopting better wellness choices.

What Is The Death Rate of Dementia?

As per the latest WHO data from a report published in 2018, deaths due to Dementia and Alzheimer’s hit a staggering 32 or 0.13% of total deaths in the country. This figure indicates the prevalence of Dementia, and the current is expected to increase over time.

What Is The Average Life Expectancy Of A Person With Dementia?

The real answer to this question is that ‘we don’t know.’ Nobody can give an accurate answer to this question.  That’s because the average life expectancy of a Dementia patient depends on several factors. Some people may live for decades after receiving a diagnosis, while others may only survive for years. It’s all about how you manage your life and deal with issues like hypertension to reduce suffering due to cognitive disorders.

Factors like genetics, race, age, health, and socioeconomic status play a big role in determining the life expectancy of a person with dementia. Every patient’s history is different, so everyone follows a different course.

What Should you Know about Alzheimer’s?

Just like coronary artery disease is a type of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease is a type of brain disorder. It is a degenerative illness, which means its symptoms worsen over time, long before getting diagnosed. Doctors and medical scientists believe that Alzheimer’s disease usually begins two decades before the symptoms arise.

Initially, the changes in the brain cells are unnoticeable to the affected person or his/her family members. However, after a few years, these brain changes are potent enough to affect our memory and conversational abilities.

Symptoms begin to appear as the neurons or nerve cells in the brain’s parts, responsible for cognitive function, receive damage. These brain cells support memory, thinking, learning, and other important functions.

Gradually, other nerve cells in the brain, which enable an individual to perform basic functions such as swallowing and walking, get damaged. That’s why many dementia and Alzheimer patients become bed-bound during the last few years of their life. They may also need caregiving services from professional nurses or constant supervision to create a dementia-friendly environment at home.

Dementia is expected to become one of the leading causes of death in Singapore in the future. That’s because many home caregivers don’t know how to provide the best caregiving services to Dementia patients. Taking care of individuals who have dementia is a tough journey. Since it can be quite challenging to be a 24/7 caregiver, getting professional help from a reliable caregiving service is a great idea.

When caring for friends or family with any form of dementia, such as vascular dementia, there are plenty of challenges ahead. It’s important that caregivers consult a professional doctor or check guidelines from the Alzheimer’s disease association to provide the best care to dementia patients.

Percentage Of Singapore Elderly With Dementia?

There are nearly 48 million people globally who suffer from dementia, and 82,000 Singaporeans are among them. Around half the population show symptoms by the time they reach 85 years. Although these figures are disturbing, dementia is not a normal part of ageing. Here are the most common signs and symptoms of dementia.

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks and everyday activities
  • Difficulty finding objects and recollecting memories
  • Confusion about dates, time, and place
  • Communication problems
  • Failure to be aware of surroundings
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Changes in behavior or mood
  • Personality changes
  • Withdrawal from social activities or work

Is Dementia Common In The Elderly in Singapore?

Apart from other chronic diseases, Dementia is now a prevailing disease in the country. Findings reveal that one in ten individuals above the age of 60 years can develop this disease. The financial strain of dementia may reach up to trillions of dollars. Nearly 3 million dollars went into dementia care in Singapore alone in 2015.

For more awareness, here are the major types of dementia that are common in persons with Dementia in Singapore.

Alzheimer’s: According to the Health Promotion Board, this cognitive illness shrinks and destroys the brain’s nerve cells. This condition results because of a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

Vascular Dementia: This condition results because of a restricted supply of blood to the brain. Lack of oxygen and blood supply eventually damages the cerebrum and the affected individual experiences progressive blackouts.

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