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Becoming forgetful does not necessarily mean that a person has dementia. As part of the ageing process, some people may notice slowing of memory recollection and thought processing. This is normal. If, however, the changes become progressively more obvious and begin to have an impact on the person’s everyday life, the person should consider going for a cognitive impairment assessment. 

Dementia is the loss of intellectual abilities (such as thinking, remembering and reasoning) which interfere with a person’s daily functioning. It is not a disease in itself, but rather a group of symptoms that may accompany certain diseases. 


Signs and Symptoms

Someone with dementia may

 • Forgetting events and instructions  

 • Repeated questions or conversations  

• Losing items frequently or regularly, for example a wallet or keys  

• Forgetting appointments, birthdays or social commitments  

• Frequently getting lost whilst driving  

• Often having problems finding words during conversations  

• Difficulties learning new skills  

• Reduced ability in doing familiar tasks (e.g. bill paying or cooking)  

• Feeling overwhelmed or confused by new situations 


There is no definitive cure for dementia as the exact causes are unclear. However, it is possible to minimise some of the common symptoms with medication. Therapies such as reality orientation and reminiscence also help to manage some of these symptoms. Occupational therapists carry out activities of daily living training for the elderly to encourage independence in the community.    

Services at IMH  

Outpatient Clinics at IMH 

IMH runs Psychogeriatric Clinics at the hospital’s Clinic B and Community Wellness Clinics located at Geylang Polyclinic and Queenstown Polyclinic, which cater to the mental health needs of the elderly in Singapore.  

In addition, IMH’s Memory Clinic offers assessment, support, information and advice to those with memory problems, and their caregivers. This specialty clinic is run by a multidisciplinary team consisting of a psychiatrist, memory clinic nurse, psychologist, occupational therapist and medical social worker. The clinic takes in referrals and sees individuals of all ages presenting with signs and symptoms of cognitive impairment, such as memory problems or personality change. 

To make an appointment  to see a doctor, please call 6389 2200. 

Dementia-friendly Wards 

IMH’s Sunshine Wing consists of two geriatric acute wards with a total of 50 beds. It serves psychiatric patients aged 65 years old and above. The wards are equipped with elderly-friendly and dementia-friendly features and unique facilities that aim to improve the care of dementia patients with severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia and patients with other psychiatric conditions. 


Related Brochures 

DementiaMemory Clinic 




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