Draw proper policies on rise of dementia in aging M'sia, says former MP
SHAH ALAM - In the context of an ageing population, the government should introduce policies as well as a support system for people with dementia, says Charles Santiago.
The former Klang MP suggested for the government to come up with centers or stand alone hospitals which are specifically for dementia patients.
"We need centers or stand alone hospitals that are catered to those who suffer from parkinsons and dementia.
"This must be a government hospitals not private hospitals where only the rich will go," he told Sinar Daily.
He was refering to a question on the possibilities of having facilities for the elderly similar to Hogeweyk which is known as ‘Dementia Village’ in Malaysia.
De Hogeweyk, operated by nursing home Hogewey, is a gated model village in Weesp, Netherlands. It has been designed specifically as a pioneering care facility for elderly people with dementia.
Hogeweyk is known as 'Dementia Village' because the 152 residents who live there all have severe dementia, require 24-hour-a-day care and will likely call Hogeweyk their last home.
Charles explained that it is important to have the numbers to show for, this will in turn lead to visibility for dementia patients in Malaysia.
"There are a couple of things to keep in mind before setting up similar facilities here, what are the numbers of people in Malaysia who have demetia because in terms of healthcare priority, we have high numbers of people who are diabetic, have heart problems and have cancer.
"I don't think the government this time has the money or the political will to focus on centre just for dementia ," he said.
Meanwhile, President of the National Council of Welfare and Social Development Malaysia (MAKPEM) Khatijah Sulaiman said Malaysia should come up with such facilities for the elderly in the future.
"For Malaysia we have long way to go, we have to educate, create awareness for dementia
"Now we are also looking at an ageing society, we should be prepared with all kind of services so that we are able to serve the community better," she said.
When asked on the importance of facilities for the elderly in Malaysia, Khatijah said it is necessary as some family need these type of support system.
"It is important to have such facilities in Malaysia since some families are not able to look after their elderly family members, however, they need some kind of support system to look after their elders.
"Everybody is talking about ageing society and its coming to Malaysia in 2030.
"I just want to know whether we are ready to talk about such things, we have to take drastic decisions to make sure that facilities are there for the future," she said.