Former Malaysia Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi can no longer recognise his family members due to dementia.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who is his son-in-law, announced the news on Twitter on Sunday (11 September).
According to him, the former UMNO leader started showing signs of dementia shortly after retiring. As the years went by, it worsened.
This was one of the reasons why former PM Abdullah was out of the public eye after his term.
“Fortunately, we are able to provide professional care. Many others are not able to do so. It’s important for us to invest in social care to support families who have loved ones that require constant care,” said Jamaluddin in his tweet.
Abdullah is now wheelchair bound and is unable to function normally anymore. He no longer remembers the name of his son-in-law, or his daughter’s, Nori Abdullah, the wife of Jamaluddin.
Jamaluddin did not announce the sad news randomly. His goal is to shed light on dementia and cognitive impairment.
Jamaluddin noted how he was fortunate to be able to provide professional care for his father-in-law but understood that not many can afford this.
He emphasised the need to invest in social care in order to support those who have loved ones who require constant care.
Following his tweet, he mentioned that the Ministry of Health will be “making a strong case for more investment in publicly funded social care to look after people who do not have the means to do so privately.”
No Cure For Dementia Available
Unfortunately, as of date, there is no existing cure for dementia as it is caused by multiple diseases.
Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning—thinking, remembering, and reasoning—to the extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life. Some people with dementia cannot control their emotions, and their personalities may change.
Dementia is used as an umbrella term for a decline in mental ability. It’s related to Alzheimer’s disease which is a specific brain disease that accounts for 60 per cent to 80 per cent of dementia cases.
In Singapore, there are dementia-friendly neighbourhoods, with Yishun being the first town to carry out the pilot. You can watch this video to know more about how it works:
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