Of people with dementia in Singapore, 6 in 10 say they are treated as less competent than usual, with one in two feeling incompetent and embarrassed about their condition, citing stigma as the main reason.
Singapore’s new national survey on dementia also revealed that more than 75 per cent think the country is markedly less than dementia-friendly and that stigma around dementia is as prevalent as it was in 2019, with more than half still rating their inclusion level in everyday life at less than 30%. This is even as the rejection, loneliness and shame they face have dropped significantly from 72 per cent to 31 per cent across these four years.
SMU’s Principal Lecturer of Statistics Rosie Ching created and carried out the 2019 and 2023 running nationwide study she named “Remember.For.Me.” which revealed these perceptions of dementia, a burgeoning health problem in the fast-ageing country where more than 1 in 10 over the age of 60 has dementia.
Overall, an excess of 80 per cent, almost 30 per cent higher than in 2019, are confident that more needs to be done to improve the quality of life of people with dementia, citing their frustration at their lack of knowledge about dementia support, demonstrating the need for more education and outreach. The average knowledge level about dementia among the citizens surveyed remains below 50 per cent.
With Dementia Singapore as her supporting partner, Ms. Ching and her students interviewed 3,226 people across Singapore, probing into changes in knowledge levels, beliefs, attitudes, awareness of support available and their efficacy.
“Remember.For.Me.” has drawn media attention for the national need for even greater dementia awareness, support and dementia-friendliness.