Local celebrities bring awareness to dementia
Dementia Singapore has partnered with Tay Ping Hui and Munah Bagharib as its first-ever brand ambassadors.
Local celebrities Tay Ping Hui and Munah Bagharib have become local ambassadors for Dementia Singapore (formerly known as Alzheimer’s Disease Association) to bring awareness on dementia.
Said 51-year-old actor Ping Hui: “I became a Dementia Singapore Ambassador because I sincerely think that we need to have more conversations on this unavoidable topic. Conditions like heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease have been much talked about, but discussions on the matters of dementia are still lacking in my eyes. I hope that by becoming an Ambassador, I can do my part to bring more people to this conversation.”
Ping Hui also cited friends and family members close to him who are living or have lived with dementia. Having seen the effects of the condition on them, he reveals that the cause is a personal one to him.
For local actress Munah, 33, it was witnessing her mother getting diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2017 and her new role as a caregiver, which encouraged her to step forward. “What Dementia Singapore stands for, is everything I believe in and everything my family and I needed when we were faced with dementia. I turned to their resources to learn more about how to move forward, what help is out there, how to be a better caregiver. It made a huge difference. It is an honour for me to be part of their cause because I want to help raise awareness about what dementia is, reduce the stigma around it, and most of all, be able to educate myself so that we can be there for those impacted by the condition,” said Munah, who is also a social media influencer.
The two celebrities will embark on their official ambassadorship in September 2021, using their powerful voices to advocate for the dementia cause. September is also known among the global dementia community as World Alzheimer’s Month, a month dedicated to commemorating persons with dementia, caregivers, professional healthcare workers and others impacted by dementia.
Together with Dementia Singapore, the ambassadors hope to raise more awareness about dementia and its increasing prevalence, kickstart public conversations, and rally local authorities to offer more support to those impacted by the condition.
Noting that the societal stigma against dementia is still rampant in Singapore, Ping Hui added: “I think we could start with more public education on dementia so that topics such as these would not be labelled a taboo subject. It is unfortunate that many in society today still tend to avoid the topic or pretend it doesn’t exist altogether. I believe we can do better, but the key is public education.”
As Singapore continues to age, coupled with rising figures of people with young onset dementia (dementia which is diagnosed at 65 years old and below), another nationwide issue is family caregivers getting increasingly younger. Addressing this issue and the challenges that the younger generation may face, Munah added: “It’s an unpredictable journey and it’s not always going to be rainbows and butterflies. But we are all stronger than we think we are. And we have to fight for our loved ones [with dementia] because you know they would do the exact same for us. Find and give support, that’s the most important thing.”