Caption: Mdm Tan Sow Meng (left), 72, with her son Mr Glenn Poh (right), 42, at [email protected] 433
“It helps to talk to others. Taking short breaks and learning from the experiences of other caregivers have been therapeutic. My mother benefits too. If she stays at home, she tends to sleep more."
Ang Mo Kio resident Mr Glenn Poh became a full-time caregiver to his mother Mdm Tan Sow Meng last year when she was diagnosed with dementia. The 42-year-old was then managing his own IT start-up. As the only child, Glenn enjoys a close relationship with his mother. His father passed on 21 years ago after a bad fall at home.
It was a challenging period for Glenn, who had to take on a suitable job with flexible hours so that he could care for his mother 24/7. During this period, his friend who also lives in Ang Mo Kio, encouraged him to join [email protected] 433 to keep Mdm Tan meaningfully occupied, as well as to receive support. Initially, Mdm Tan was reserved and stayed close to Glenn. But gradually, she felt more relaxed as she attended the craft sessions regularly and got to know other residents.
Glenn and his mother also started joining the walking group formed as part of Walk2Remember, an initiative by the Ang Mo Kio Partners’ Network, to support the community on dementia awareness and care linkages. The weekly walks have helped Mdm Tan to stay fit and connected in the community. Recently, Glen also joined the Caregivers Support Group set up by [email protected] 433, where he found mutual support and encouragement from other caregivers.
“It helps to talk to others. Taking short breaks and learning from the experiences of other caregivers have been therapeutic. My mother benefits too. If she stays at home, she tends to sleep more,” said Glenn.
Caregiving resources at your fingertips
Caption: Receiving the Community Living Resource at Walk2Remember Walkathon
On 17 September 2022, both Glenn and Mdm Tan took part in the second edition of Walk2Remember Walkathon organised by the Ang Mo Kio Partners’ Network together with Ang Mo Kio residents at Bishan Ang-Mo-Kio Park.
The Community Living Resource – a guide for caregivers in Ang Mo Kio – was also launched at the event. Commenting on the guide, Glenn added, “I no longer need to search all over to find the information that I need and that’s good. I have also learnt a lot on the different stages of dementia, as well as the services and amenities in my neighbourhood that can support people with dementia. This knowledge will also help me in my future planning and decision making.”
For enquiries on elderly or caregiving-related issues, please call TOUCH Care Line at 6804 6555 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm).