The Singapore Family Physician

Back to issue Vol 39 No. 2 - Dementia

The role of GPs in helping caregivers of persons with dementia

Dennis Seow Chuen Chai
Philip Yap Lin Kiat
The Singapore Family Physician Vol 39 No 2 - Dementia
27 - 32
1 June 2013
Caregiver interventions have been shown to reduce caregiver depression, burden of care, and improve their health and quality of life. Caregiver support also benefits the person with dementia (PWD). It is important to recognise that caregivers too need caring. Caregivers of PWD are usually middle-aged daughters and sons followed by spouses. Foreign domestic helpers also play a pivotal role in Singapore. Stressors arising from caregiving change at different stages of the disease. As the disease progresses into the advanced stages, stress from having to deal with behavioural problems can lessen as the burden from coping with functional impairments increases. For this reason, caregiver interventions should be stage appropriate. There is a need to work towards creating a positive experience in the GP consultation with the important elements of early diagnosis, providing stage specific information and interventions, and up-to-date information on dementia resources available in the community.