Dementia, once regarded as a medical condition affecting mostly those aged over 65, has seen an increasing number of younger patients over recent years.
In fact, in an article published by TODAY's SINGAPORE in year 2017, it was reported that the increase in number of such younger patients was as much as five-fold from year 2011. More concerning is that the number of people living with Dementia is expected to double by 2030.
Recently, Channel News Asia carried a report "He's 48, and already grapping with dementia".
The term "Young-onset Dementia" is now used to describe Dementia that occurs in patients aged 65 and below. Due to the younger onset age of the disease, many may still be in employment and may have young families, therefore likely to face significant social challenges and lifestyle changes brought on by high economic burdens.
But will Dementia impact one's daily living?
Think about it. Dementia can make performing simple Daily Activities of Living (ADLs) such as using the washroom, showering, eating or even changing of clothing difficult. This is because several of the brain functions required to perform such ADLs willl be affected by Dementia. And since Dementia is typically a progressive condition, the ability to perform such ADLs tends to decline over time.
Due to the nature of this medical condition, affected patients are most likely unable to take care of themselves, either financially or physically, or both. One can help ease the burden on family members in the event of being diagnosed with Dementia by planning for it while still able to, such as setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), and taking up adequate insurance that pays out a monthly benefit upon the inability to perform ADLs.
Jason Ow S. H.
Senior Financial Consultant