Temasek Foundation Cares – Dementia Hospice Care
First dementia hospice care programme in Singapore to provide person-centred care for patients with advanced dementia and their caregivers
Partner: Assisi Hospice
Dementia patients typically have progressive physical and cognitive decline, characterised by issues such as memory loss, mood or behavioural changes, as well as difficulties in communicating their needs and feelings. Under the new two-year pilot Dementia Hospice Care programme, patients with advanced dementia will receive specialised care to manage their unique symptoms, for instance, better control and management of pain or discomfort. A multi-disciplinary team of experts including palliative and geriatric dementia care, nursing team, physiotherapists as well as art, music and speech therapists will attend to the medical, health and psychosocial care (including spiritual needs) of the patient.
The team of specialists will also arrange for activities for mental stimulation, with reminiscence sessions to help patients with memory recall; staff are also trained to be more attuned to verbal and non-verbal cues in understanding patients’ needs. A sensory garden next to the ward provides space for patients to engage with nature and stimulate their senses. The spaces within the dedicated ward are also conducive for caregivers to befriend one another and provide mutual support through social interaction and group therapy.
Many patients and their families have difficulty making decisions in a palliative care environment. Their expectations and hopes for the delivery of treatment may at times conflict with what the patient truly desires. The new programme will help patients and their families with caregiving and end-of-life-care planning to arrive at a care plan consistent with their personal values which ultimately provides the patients with a good quality of life.