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Sibling Conflict in Caregiving

When caregivers talk about the stress of caring for their parents, the next issue that they bring up is most often that they lack the support from their siblings.

When taking on such a huge emotional and physical task, you would naturally need as much help as you can get.

Uncertainty in the situation of caring for your parents causes conflict. Watching your parents decline also adds to the stress and emotions. These can take a toll on the relationship between siblings if it’s not properly managed.

Here’s a few tips and advice curated from Daily Caring.

Sibling conflict in caregiving. Asking for help. why dont they help. Tips for the sibling
Sibling conflict in caregiving. Asking for help. Understanding why they don’t help. Tips for the sibling.

 

How to ask for help from your siblings? Ask yourself what you really need. Stop the cycle of guilt when you ask. Dont assume that they should know you need help.
How to ask for help from your siblings? Ask yourself what you really need. Stop the cycle of guilt when you ask. Don’t assume that they should know you need help.

Read more here

Why dont my siblings help? They may think you don't really need help. They need to experience it themselves. They dont know how to help. They are afraid of doing a bad job.
Why don’t my siblings help? They may think you don’t really need help. They need to experience it themselves. They don’t know how to help. They are afraid of doing a bad job.

Read more here

Tips for the sibling caregiver. Dont aim for equal spread of roles. Do what makes sense. Be kind to each other. Divide and conqure. Prepare for tough realities - end of life
Tips for the sibling caregiver. Don’t aim for equal spread of roles. Do what makes sense. Be kind to each other. Divide and conqure. Prepare for tough realities such as end of life.

Read more here and here

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These Singaporeans create games for a living

These Singaporeans create games for a living

While the whole world is fixated on their mobile devices, there’s still a group of Singaporeans hoping to encourage human interaction without screens.

They are creating card games and board games for their community.

These games may be of different forms and game plays. But, they all hope to encourage interaction in some way or another.

So, what are these games and who are the individuals who still insist on creating paper products?

I’m one of these individuals and I’m very happy that I’m not alone.

Because I work on card games for seniors, I decided to start searching for other local game creators.

I asked them a few questions. So, here it goes:

Daniel Tan, 22, Founder of Limpeh Says 

Daniel Tan Yong Heng (left), Founder, Limpeh Says
Daniel Tan Yong Heng (left) and Gabriel Leow, Founders of Limpeh Says. Pic Credit: The Straits Times.

Most Singaporeans have heard of Limpeh Says, a card game that puts a local spin on Cards Against Humanity.

What you may not know is that the game started off as Daniel’s school project while he was studying at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.

1. How did you get started with Limpeh Says? 

It was initially made for a school project.

After the assessment, I wanted to show it off a bit to my friends on Twitter, but it gained traction really quick and within a few days it was shared on a few local buzz sites.

This really pushed me to make the game a reality, and Gabriel (co-founder of Play Nation, and my partner in Limpeh Says) reached out to me, giving some advise purely out of goodwill.

We met a for a few times, and I decided that he has the knowledge and experience in this field that I don’t.

I then offered him a partnership. We set out to create the best product we could.

2. How long has the journey been and how has it evolved along the way?

Before we launched it on Kickstarter, It took us a little over a year to refine the card game.

It was previously called “Cards Against Humanity: Singapore Edition.”

But for legal reasons, as well as not wanting to be associated with CAH, we slowly evolved into Limpeh Says.

During the process of refining, we also trippled the number of cards in the game.

The design changes, mainly our logo, was also refined over that period of time.

3. What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge was Kickstarter.

We were both new to the platform, and we had no idea how well our campaign would run.

We initially ran for a $20,000 funding goal, which a few Kickstarter veterans were wary about.

But even if we hit exactly that amount, we would still be at a loss.

We really just wanted to see it come to fruition, so we brought the goal as low as we could.

Surprisingly, we hit $20k in a little over 2 hours, and went 600% on the campaign.

I tried my best to spice up the campaign page the best I could do, while Gabriel worked hard liaising with different companies to get some promotional posts up.

4. What are your upcoming plans for Limpeh Says?

Currently, we are on a hiatus due to our own commitments.

But I am looking forward to GE2019! (His next project is likely to be launched then)

If you’re interested in Limpeh Says, you can pre-order at https://limpehsays.com/

Nicholas Pang, 37, Founder of Starknicked

Nick Pang, Founder, Star Nicked created Smol Tok. Smol Tok is a game aimed at getting people to have more intimate conversations.
Nick Pang, Founder, Starknicked created Smol Tok. Smol Tok is a game aimed at getting people to have more intimate conversations.

Smol tok is everything that cards against humanity is not.

Nicholas created smol tok as an ice-breaking and community-building card game designed to grow meaningful conversations, trust, and relationships – minus the bullshit.

Every card is a question, and every question is a peek into what makes us human.

1. How did you get started with smol tok?

I was reading viktor frankl’s man’s search for meaning, everyone should read this book at pivotal moments in life.

I was heavily inspired and influenced by his teachings about how the search for meaning and purpose is essential for every human being to not only survive but thrive, and find happiness in life.

Questions are an important tool in this endeavour, and I had created a bunch of questions for myself as a personal heuristic.

Someone I knew saw it and incepted the idea of making it accessible to others who might need it.

I experimented with some designs and put it in a shop. It slowly grew from there organically.

2. How long has the journey been and how has it evolved along the way?

I was still working at my day job when I released smol tok in 2015.

Did it at night and on the weekends in 2015 and 2016. Passion project really.

I wasn’t looking to start a company or a line of products. Just wanted to make stuff that helped people like me find meaning and purpose in their relationships, work, life, etc.

But, sometime in 2016, I took a 2 month long break and went on a backpacking pilgrimage.

The extended time away from what we consider normal in Singapore brought increasing clarity to me.

I decided I needed to redesign and reprogramme my life, and reorient it towards work that was truly meaningful, that I could uniquely carry out.

I returned to Singapore, quit my day job, and started to feel my way forward with smol tok.

Since then, I’ve released one new deck every year, with plans to do so for the next 6 years.

The whole creative process is life-giving to me, and I have a blank slate to create in Smol Tok.

I’ve also met many like-minded and talented people along the way, and together with some of them, are working to spin off and create other kinds of meaningful games and content.

3. What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

An ongoing challenge is getting folks to get into the habit of asking questions about their own lives with the intention of getting clearer about what truly gives them meaning and purpose, and not simply cruise along on autopilot.

The Singapore narrative that we’re schooled in is based on a pretty narrow definition of success – the material sort.

I suspect many folks feel trapped in this narrative; some time away on retreat and a few honest questions directed at oneself could help folks write their own narrative, one that’s uniquely tailored to them as individuals.

4. What are your upcoming plans for Starknicked? (It’s pronounced ‘stark naked’)

Expansion. Building a community of folks who seek greater meaning and purpose in life.

Also, there are five more decks of smol tok I need to bring to maturity, including one on work, one on travel, and one on ecology.

Plus a new family of card games rooted in my family’s Peranakan heritage.

I don’t want to give away too much. Stay tuned!

If you’re interested in Smol Tok, you can order at: https://www.starknicked.com/ 

 Tan Shao Han, 37, and Alanna Yeo, 34, Co-founders of Curious Chimeras

Tan Shao Han, Founder, Curious Chimeras
Tan Shao Han, Co-founder, Curious ChimerasAlanna Yeo, Founder, Curious ChimerasAlanna Yeo, Co-founder, Curious Chimeras

The Curious Chimeras focuses on the art of storytelling via unique experiences that encompass strong narrative, tabletop games, art, and culture.

Through Curious Chimeras experiences and games, players can adventure fearlessly, engage in meaningful interactions with others and ultimately build a community that allows for exploration, self-discovery and the understanding of new and different perspectives.

1. How did you get started with Curious Chimeras? 

Shao: Curious Chimeras began with a passion to share the joy of roleplaying games with different people around me.

I was mostly working with kids, and enjoyed adapting and creating roleplaying games into simpler, more robust forms for their enjoyment – that was when I realized I found this process of game-making to be very fulfilling on a personal level.

That realization led me to focus on creating more games, and pushing myself into these endeavors.

Alanna: I joined Curious Chimeras because I have a passion for incorporating play and storytelling into our daily lives.

I had found it joyful to create ‘gameful’ experiences previously, for areas such as education, mental wellbeing, personal communication etc.

When Shao shared with me his vision for Curious Chimeras, I found that it was something I was immensely interested in, so here we are writing games and experiences for a living!

2. How long has the journey been and how has it evolved along the way? 

Shao: We incorporated at the beginning of 2018, and we have been operating before this as a community of playful volunteers that uses games to help kids learn and bond with one another.

In the past, we were more of a loose collective with an interest in play, while now we are more of a focused company with an emphasis on creating playable experiences.

3. What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it? 

Shao: Writing and publishing roleplaying games requires a lot of different skills – just like playing and running them!

I’ve had to become familiar with a lot of different skills like typesetting, graphic design, and the operations of a small business, while also reading and playing a lot of different games to get a better idea of my own visions and voice as a game maker.

As for how I overcame this – it’s just a matter of putting in lots of time, energy, and focus, I guess! 🙂

Alanna: In general, starting a business is never an easy task; immense discipline and communication is needed especially in a business run by more than one.

So far, I think Shao and I work very well together in terms of how our different skillsets complement each other, and most importantly, that the two of us are both direct and honest in the way we communicate with each other.

4. What are your upcoming plans for Curious Chimeras?

We are publishing a few roleplaying games in a mix of the Old School Revival (OSR) and narrative-driven ‘storygame’ style.

The first is “Tales of Saintrest”, a game of mythic fantasy about mortals and spirits in a world healing from a war, and we are also working on products and modules for other roleplaying engines and systems.

On the other side, we also develop and provide corporate services – we design and use roleplaying games to encourage teamwork and bonding in fun and immersive ways. Call us if you’re interested! 🙂

If you’re interested in Curious Chimeras, you can get in touch at http://www.curiouschimeras.com/

Christel Goh, 27, Founder of Play Huahee

After experiencing the pain of dementia at home, Christel Goh creates games for people and communities to engage seniors.
From right: Me and my grandma with the Play Huahee card games

Lastly, there’s also me 😛

I created Play Huahee when I experienced a lack of relevant activities in the market to engage my grandma.

Play Huahee offers the Singaporean community with localised games to engage seniors. We are also planning more games to reach communities beyond Singapore.

I devote my time to creating games to encourage early intervention for seniors.

1. How did you get started with Play Huahee?

Two years ago, my grandma showed early warning signs of dementia.

My grandpa suffered from dementia previously and my mum was very determined not to let the same happen to my grandma.

So, my mum started to research the types of food, exercises and activities that can help her condition.

I was looking for activities to engage my grandma, when I realised that there were no localised and relevant games for seniors in Singapore or for the Asian context.

So, I started to draw local food and heritage items in Singapore. This eventually led to the first version of Hua Hee card game. I  launched it on Indiegogo after that.

2. How long has the journey been and how has it evolved along the way?

Hua Hee was a very simple memory matching card game at first.

I soon introduced other ways of playing the games such as charades and pictionary. I also expanded on the range of games I had — including games like puzzles, colouring and more.

My focus was previously on creating activities for seniors. I feel that Play Huahee now stands for something bigger.

When it comes to conditions like dementia, most families only become aware of a problem much later on. They only find out about it when their seniors’ condition aggravates.

The effects of intervention are quite limited in the later stages of the condition.

Through Play HuaHee, I hope to encourage early intervention for seniors in homes/communities.

3. What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge is sustainability. While we have been getting traction among various organisations, all the profits generated goes back to fund production and various operating expenses.

We need to figure out a more sustainable model for Play Huahee.

4. What are your upcoming plans for Play Huahee?

The plan is to continue creating more games and reaching out to communities beyond Singapore.

I have so many ideas that I would like to experiment with. The only constrains are resources and time.

If you’re interested in Play Huahee, you can order at: https://playhuahee.com/games-engage-seniors/

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New Breakthrough in Dementia Findings

According  to Alzheimer’s Association, there has been new research findings on dementia intervention.

The findings show that aggressive treatment of high blood pressure results in fewer cases of cognitive decline.

In the Sprint for Discovery: New Dementia and Cardiovascular Findings, 9,361 hypertensive older adults (who do not have diabetes, dementia or prior stroke) were broken down into two groups.

One group recieved more intensive high blood pressure treatment than the other group.

In the group that recieved more intensive treatment, the results were that 19% less people developed mild cognitive impairment.

Alzheimer’s Association refered to the results as significant.

Extracted from the Alzheimer’s Association:

“These new findings further reinforce the importance of the Alzheimer’s Association U.S. Study to Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk (U.S. POINTER), as the study includes managing cardiovascular disease risk factors as part of the multi-component lifestyle interventions.

This two-year clinical trial funded by the Alzheimer’s Association will examine whether lifestyle interventions can protect cognitive function in older adults at increased risk for cognitive decline.

The interventions include physical exercise, nutritional counseling and modification, cognitive and social stimulation, and improved self-management of health status.”

 

Chief science officer of the Alzheimer’s Association global research program, Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D., is optimistic about treating dementia with lifestyle changes.

She says that lifestyle changes have reduced deaths for major diseases like Cancer and Heart Disease.

She hopes that their findings will prove the same for dementia.

Read more about the study here.

Early Intervention at Home

Early intervention has been a big part of my family’s journey. My mother encouraged my family to embark on this journey ever since we noticed early warning signs of dementia in my grandma.

In six months of lifestyle changes such as diet, activities and exercise, we noticed a significant positive difference in her moods and memory.

I feel that families should watch out for these signs, and act on them before it is too late.

If you would like to read about my family’s journey of early intervention, read here.

This has also inspired me to create card games for seniors, in the hope that they encourage social interaction and can be tools of early intervention.

Do you want FREE activities for seniors? Leave your email address and we will send them to you.

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Is elderly isolation a growing problem?

Is elderly isolation a growing problem?

Elderly isolation definitely seems to be a growing problem.

Last week, there was a news report that elderly suicides was at an all-time high.

An extract from Channel NewsAsia states, “The number of elderly aged 60 and above who took their own lives peaked at 129 last year, the highest since suicide tracking started in 1991.”

The total number of suicides last year was 361. This means that out of every three suicides, one was an elderly.

Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) is also encouraging seniors to call into their hotline because they see a drop in seniors calling in and they are concerned about elderly isolation.

According to the Singapore Longitudinal Ageing Study in 2012 by the National University of Singapore’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, one in five elderly persons in Singapore aged 75 and above show signs of depression.

There is also projected to be 83,000 seniors living alone by 2030.

It is clearly a big issue. This makes it more important for us to be more mindful of the seniors around us and watch for red flags.

These red flags are symptoms of suicidal tendencies to watch out for:

  1. Making preparations for death (e.g. writing a will or giving away cherished belongings)
  2. Sudden withdrawal from social interactions
  3. Self-neglect in terms of low personal hygiene and a dirty living environment
  4.  Struggle with a recent life crisis (e.g. the death of a loved one or excessive medical bills.)

Sources:

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/elderly-depression-lonely-dementia-chronic-illness-treatment-10159670

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/suicides-elderly-singapore-all-time-high-sos-10565002

Do you want FREE activities for seniors? Leave your email address and we will send them to you.






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Music Therapy: Bringing Special Voices to Seniors

There is often much talk about creating an inclusive society for people with special needs.

Last week, we met someone who is doing this with the Singapore Special Voices.

Magdalene Wong is not creating an inclusive society by treating children with special needs as beneficiaries.

Instead, she is empowering them to give back to the community, and hone their talents in some way or another.

Meeting the Singapore Special Voices

Last saturday, we brought the Singapore Special Voices to Bright Hill Evergreen Home.

The Singapore Special Voices is a choir made up of special needs children who perform song and dance.

The seniors were very excited to participate in the performance.

The seniors have dementia and they dont often respond very much during volunteer engagement.

But, they were very ready to join in the song and dance segments with the children.

The Singpore Special Voices is set up by Magdalene Wong, a mother to 14 year-old Chalmers. She discovered that Chalmers had moderate to severe autism when he was close to two years old.
The Singpore Special Voices is set up by Magdalene Wong, a mother to 14 year-old Chalmers. She discovered that Chalmers had moderate to severe autism when he was close to two years old.

Motivations behind the Singapore Special Voices

Magdalene was motivated to set up the choir because she strongly believes that special needs children are born with talents.

She believes that they have the potential to do much better, given the right intervention.

Her son’s talent when playing the drums, piano and bowling, or dabbling in art has also inspired her to encourage families with special needs children.

She wants to make music and art either free, or at the very least, affordable for special needs children.

Music is one of the best therapies for special needs children.

The musical performance that they brought to seniors at Bright Hill Evergreen Home was also a great form of engagement.

The seniors were very enaged with the children’s song and dance as they performed melodies that they were very familiar with.

Children do have a magical ability to bring smiles to children. I blogged about a previous visit by children to the home during Christmas.

Challenges to Overcome

However, it has not been an entirely smooth sailing journey for Magdalene.

“As a working Mother with a special child, I face challenges in getting sufficient help and juggling between office work, son, choir and art classes for children with special needs. I’ve to constantly come up with new and creative songs and dance steps, charting choirs schedule and collating attendance,” said Magdalene.

She sources for funds to buy materials such as hand chimes for the performances.

She also gets sponsorship help from family and friends who believe in the project.

The Singapore Special Voices comprises a tight community of special needs children and their parents.

The Singpore Special Voices is set up by Magdalene Wong, a mother to 14 year-old Chalmers. She discovered that Chalmers had moderate to severe autism when he was close to two years old.
The Singpore Special Voices is set up by Magdalene Wong, a mother to 14 year-old Chalmers. She discovered that Chalmers had moderate to severe autism when he was close to two years old.

Magdalene’s Goal

Magdalene’s vision is to develop stage performing talents amongst children with special needs.

She wants to provide an avenue for them to be engaged in meaningful activities.

She believes that this will help improve their social skills and allow them to build self-confidence.

She is already seeing the fruits of her labour as parents have been sharing improvements of their children’s social skills and self-confidence.

Through the choir, Magdalene’s son has also become more sociable and open in interacting with others.

Her dream is to produce albums for the choir and bring them overseas to share this visions with special needs families in different part of the world.

She hopes that the Singapore Special Voices will bring Love, Joy and Hope to the rest of the world.

Do you want FREE activities for seniors? Leave your email address and we will send them to you.






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Meet me & play HuaHee?

I am very happy to share with you that I’ve just launched two additional games!

I spent the past year experimenting on game plays and am super happy to push out the fruits of my labour.

I’m also thinking of having a session to share with you my inspiration.  And, you can test out the new Hua Hee games!

Here’s more details about the new games:

Hua Hee Colozzle

HuaHee Colozzle is a colouring and puzzle game. It comes with 15 designs of everyday items, aimed at invoking positive memories in seniors.  The designs includes flowers, seashells, leaves, snails, carrots, lemons, mushrooms, butterflies, corn, rabbits, onions, avocados, cheries and frogs.

HuaHee Colozzle is a colouring and puzzle game. It comes with 15 designs of everyday items, aimed at invoking positive memories in seniors.

The designs includes flowers, seashells, leaves, snails, carrots, lemons, mushrooms, butterflies, corn, rabbits, onions, avocados, cheries and frogs.

HuaHee Colozzle is a colouring and puzzle game. It comes with 15 designs of everyday items, aimed at invoking positive memories in seniors.  The designs includes flowers, seashells, leaves, snails, carrots, lemons, mushrooms, butterflies, corn, rabbits, onions, avocados, cheries and frogs.

This game was inspired by my interactions with my grandmother. She really enjoys colouring.

I introduced colouring as an activity to my grandma a few years ago. Ever since then, she has not stopped colouring.

Colouring is a great therapy for seniors and helps them to exercise hand eye coordination.

My grandma had gone through many different colouring books.

I then wondered if there were other ways to transform the excisting coloured sheets into a game.

This is how HuaHee Colozzle came about.

HuaHee Colozzle is a colouring and puzzle game. It comes with 15 designs of everyday items, aimed at invoking positive memories in seniors.  The designs includes flowers, seashells, leaves, snails, carrots, lemons, mushrooms, butterflies, corn, rabbits, onions, avocados, cheries and frogs.

It comprises 15 colouring sheets which you can easily tear apart and form puzzles with, after you’re done colouring.

HuaHee Colozzle is a colouring and puzzle game. It comes with 15 designs of everyday items, aimed at invoking positive memories in seniors.  The designs includes flowers, seashells, leaves, snails, carrots, lemons, mushrooms, butterflies, corn, rabbits, onions, avocados, cheries and frogs.

HuaHee Colozzle is a colouring and puzzle game. It comes with 15 designs of everyday items, aimed at invoking positive memories in seniors.  The designs includes flowers, seashells, leaves, snails, carrots, lemons, mushrooms, butterflies, corn, rabbits, onions, avocados, cheries and frogs.

Rules of Play

  1. Colour the items on each colouring sheet
  2. Tear along the dotted lines
  3. Mix up the pieces and form puzzles with them

 

Hua Hee Puzzle

Hua Hee Puzzle comes in 10 designs of local food and heritage items. Aimed at invoking positive responses among seniors, it comes with brightly coloured designs. Hua Hee Puzzle comprises designs of Clogs, Ba Zhang, Otak Otak, Kueh Tutu, Satay, Tingkat, Trishaw, Curry Puff, Gasing, Teh. Each puzzle design is categorised by its frame colours.

Hua Hee Puzzle comes in 10 designs of local food and heritage items. Aimed at invoking positive responses among seniors, it comes with brightly coloured designs. Hua Hee Puzzle comprises designs of Clogs, Ba Zhang, Otak Otak, Kueh Tutu, Satay, Tingkat, Trishaw, Curry Puff, Gasing, Teh. Each puzzle design is categorised by its frame colours.

Hua Hee Puzzle comes in 10 designs of local food and heritage items.

Aimed at invoking positive responses among seniors, it comes with brightly coloured designs.

Hua Hee Puzzle comprises designs of Clogs, Ba Zhang, Otak Otak, Kueh Tutu, Satay, Tingkat, Trishaw, Curry Puff, Gasing, Teh. Each puzzle design is categorised by its frame colours.

Rules of Play

  1. Choose puzzle set to start with. Each puzzle is differentiated by its frame colour.
  2. Mix up the pieces and encourage your loved ones to form puzzles with them.

Help your loved ones train their brain & bring them on a walk down memory lane.

The designs can also be found in Hua Hee Matchoonary and Uniquely Singapore Colouring.

 

Meet me to play HuaHee?

I would love to be able to share with you the game creation process, my experience creating games, and most importantly, why i believe so much in early intervention.

Will you be keen if i invite you to a short sharing where you can also try out the games yourself?

And, share feedback with me as to what type of games you will like to see in the future?

Let me know if you’re interested! Email me at Christel@playhuahee.com!

 

If you’re interesting at getting the games, click here.

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Why should you take Turmeric?

I think many of us have heard that Turmeric has been said to improve memory and moods. But, does it really work? How do you take Turmeric?

Joy Julian, caregiver to her mother (right) has seen positive results after giving her mum Turmeric.

I think many of us have heard that Turmeric has been said to improve memory and moods.

But,  a few questions come to mind — does it really work? And, how do you take Turmeric?

Curcumin which is a substance found in Turmeric, is often used in Indian cuisine, where there seems to be a lower prevalence of dementia.

While there is no conclusive evidence that proves Curcumin has a direct effect on dementia.

I believe it’s worth a try.

I came across a post by Joy Julian in the Alzheimers’ & Dementia Caregivers support Facebook group. 

Joy who is from Florida, shared about how she has been giving her mum Turmeric root. She has since seen positive results in her mother who has Alzheimer’s disease.

I was quite intrigued by this because I’ve read that Turmeric is great for the mind.

In Singapore, Indians supposedly are less likely to get dementia because they take loads of Turmeric in their food.

I asked Joy if she was okay with sharing her experience and she very kindly agreed. 

1. Tell us about yourself and your experience as a caregiver?

I moved in with my mom six months after my father passed away. I didn’t think that she should be living on her own for the first time in her life at 86.

I didn’t know she had dementia – she was recovering from surgery on her brain. She has a Meningioma – which is a benign tumor on the lining of the brain. It’s been removed twice (it grew back after it was removed the first time).

She managed to bounced back after the first time it got removed.

But, the second surgery seriously impacted her. She currently lives with Alzheimers’ Diease.

We’re not too sure if the tumor was the cause of it.

2.When did you start giving your mum Turmeric root? What made you start your mum on this?

I had read about it, and saw the fresh root at my Farmer’s Market, so I bought some and started giving it to her.

3.You mentioned that she seemed to be clearer, what are your observations of her after taking Turmeric?

Recently, she has been able to dress herself independently. The only help that she gets from me is laying out her clothes.

Before taking turmeric, she was not able to get the sequence of dressing herself right. She sometimes, skips underwear, or ignores the clothes that I laid out.

When left on her own, she usually would wear something like three tops and no pants.

In general, she seems sharper. However, there are still some off days.

Photo by Taylor Kiser on Unsplash

4.How do you prepare turmeric root and how often do you give it to her?

I simmer it in a pan with a little coconut oil and Basalmic vinegar. It doesn’t taste great, but she doesn’t mind.

Sometimes, I give her a piece to chew on, sometimes I mince it and put in her food. She doesn’t object.

I usually give her a few pieces of turmeric in the day.

 

5. Are there other ways to prepare Turmeric?

When eaten with fat (virgin olive or coconut oil or meat drippings) as is done in India, curcumin can be directly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lymphatic system thereby partially bypassing the liver.

A recipe for this is the Tumeric Golden Paste which can be consumed as it is or mixed into rice, dishes or drinks.

Extracted from the article:

What is needed for making Turmeric Golden Paste?

  • 1/2 cup turmeric powder (125 mls) – Use organic powder.
  • 1 cup water (250 mls) or a bit more to get desired paste consistency
  • 1 teaspoons ground black pepper (7.5 mls) (or even 1/2 tsp. if pepper is too irritating)
  • 1/4 cup (70 ml) cold pressed Olive or un-refined Coconut oil – enhances the bio-availability of curcumin another seven to eight-fold

Add turmeric to water in a pan. Heat gently along with stirring. Do this till you get a thick paste, approximately 6 to 10 min. Adjust thickness by adding some water or adding a bit more turmeric.

Finally, add the pepper and oil. Keep stirring to ensure that all ingredients are mixed properly. Allow it to cool.

Bottle in clean jar with tight-fitting lid and refrigerate it for 4-5 weeks or more. (Antimicrobial Un-refined, virgin Coconut oil will help keep it from spoiling sooner). This will ensure you can make it once and use for days.

6. Are there any other natural remedies you recommend for seniors?  

YES – although we haven’t tried, MCT oil is next on my list. I bought it for my son and he LOVES it. 

MCT oil are medium-chain triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acid with health benefits like improved cognitive function to better weight management.

also shared about early intervention and how my grandma benefited from taking Coconut Oil here.

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11 Services for Seniors in Singapore

If you are caring for a senior, you may be wondering how to keep your loved ones occupied.

You may be looking for activities, companionship, caregiving or exercise related services for your loved ones.

I’ve compiled a list of options that you can consider. This is definitely not a comprehensive list.

If you know of any services that you think I should add, please let me know!

1. Activities

Activities for seniors
Colouring for seniors is a great activity

I’ve been to AMKFSC’s Senior Activity Hub in Punggol with my grandma. It is quite a positive experience. They have a weekly schedule of activities that range from afternoon exercises, karaoke to arts and craft.

I’m not too sure if all the Senior Activity Centres are open to everyone though? According to Singapore Silver Pages, you have to meet their eligibity criteria and apply first.

There’s too many senior activity centres that it’s impossible to list them all. But, you can definitely look for one near you with the help of Google.

Some of the Senior Activity Centres that you can consider are Hovi Care  and SASCO.

2. Exercise

Exercise gyms, services and programmes for seniors in Singapore.
Exercise gyms, services and programmes for seniors in Singapore.

There are a few exercise options for seniors.

Enabling Village ActiveSG Gym

Extracted from their site — This space was set up by SG Enable, a government-established body that is dedicated to enabling people with disabilities. This is the first inclusive gym where people with disabilities, seniors and the able-bodied can come together to work out and participate in selected sports programmes together.

It is near Redhill MRT station.

ASPIRE 55

Extracted from their site — The ASPIRE55 Introduction Programme is designed to help you improve on your muscle strength and balance after 10 weeks. Over 150 older adults have graduated to date. You will experience our small group strength training programme twice a week, led by an ASPIRE55 trainer. Each week, learn new exercises that will assist you with falls prevention, improvement of balance and muscles strength.

Address:

1 Commonwealth Lane #08-34
One Commonwealth
Singapore 149544

Gym Tonic

I’m not exactly sure how Gym Tonic works but I read about it in the news previously.

They offer strength training for seniors using gym equipment (I think). I believe that they are still in the pilot phases but you can still sign up if you’re keen.

 

One of our friends in our Fighting Dementia group shared that she tried  silver circle active sg gym, enabling village active sg gyms and ASPIRE 55. She prefers ASPIRE 55  even though it has  a higher price point. Because, the trainers are extremely encourging and hands on.

Her mother works on core mobility, stretching and exercising smaller muscle groups during these sessions. They are important muscles becuse they support the larger muscles.

It’s a good mix of machine, stretching and very light weights. Cardio wise, they will do up a health check and advise accordingly.

3. Befriending & Care Support

Seniors need to feel a sense of belonging is the third highest in the Maslow's hierrachy of needs, after safety and phsyological.
Seniors need to feel a sense of belonging.

If your loved ones require companionship, caregiving, nursing or physiotherapy at home, you can engage services via online sites such as JagaMe or Homage.

If you’re looking for  active rehabilitation, community nursing, and personalised dementia care, you can check out NTUC Silver Circle.

There’s also organisations like AWWA, TOUCH Community Services, NTUC Health and Home Nursing Foundation that provide care in varied forms for seniors.

There’s also Senior Day Care options that range from $900 to $1500 monthly and provide exercise, personal care and social and recreational activities. You can apply here.

4. Seniors with dementia

Five big insights into alzheimers/ dementia?
Five big insights into alzheimers/ dementia?

Seniors with dementia can try out Alzheimers’ Dementia Association’s Families of Wisdom programme which is a small group programme where facilities will engage caregivers and seniors in activities.

Seniors are broken into small groups based on the severity of their condition, and their various interests.

Montessori for Dementia Care also offers sessions for seniors to exercise their memory, staying creative, and purposefully active with the goal of continuing to learn and live a life of dignity.

They have an Activity Centre, providing daily 3-hour sessions with diverse activities, with group or individualised sessions. Activities like cooking, music, arts and crafts, exercise, and conversation offer a diverse and social experience.

AWWA Dementia Day Care also offers a programme that aims to help seniors in slowing down the progression of the condition.

 

I believe that there are many more services out there? And, I may have barely scratched the surface.

But, the objective is really to list some available services out there in case you’re looking for something.

I’ve also heard about the red tape involved in getting seniors placed in some of these programmes.

So, I guess if you’re waiting too long to hear back from one service provider, maybe you can try other services?

Let me know if I got anything wrong of if you have anything that you want to share.

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New Launch: Drawing and Colouring PDF

This 9 page PDF comprises seven colouring sheets of the Kueh Lapis, Gasing, Cha Kiak, Ketupat, Png Kueh, Durian and Ba Zhang. Colouring is a great activity for mental and emotional health. It is even more meaningful when you get to colour items that you recognise

I’ve just launched two activities which are in PDF format.

This is the first time that I’ve put out something in PDF.

And, I’m happy to hear from you on this.

Beyond Card Games

I hope to continue creating activities for seniors. But, I guess it may take a different shape and form beyond a deck of cards.

I do think that card games are great in the way that they are able to bring people together and interact face to face.

It is an easily accessible tool for large groups.

You can’t simply hand an ipad to every senior if you have a big event with large communities involved.

Visually Appealing Activities

I want to create activities that are visually appealing.

I try to include icons of everyday things that are familiar to us.

Hopefully, they can invoke positive memories among seniors and trigger some form of response from them.

1. Uniquely Singapore Colouring

This 9 page PDF comprises seven colouring sheets of the Kueh Lapis, Gasing, Cha Kiak, Ketupat, Png Kueh, Durian and Ba Zhang. Colouring is a great activity for mental and emotional health. It is even more meaningful when you get to colour items that you recognise

SALE PRICE: $5

Colouring is a great activity for mental and emotional health.

It is even more meaningful when you get to colour items that you recognise.

This 9 page PDF comprises seven colouring sheets of the Kueh Lapis, Gasing, Cha Kiak, Ketupat, Png Kueh, Durian and Ba Zhang.

The sheets are partially coloured (as indicated on the cover) so that it gives the participant an idea of the intended colour of the item.

2. Step by Step Drawing

Step by Step Sketch for Seniors

SALE PRICE: $3

I was inspired by one of the pages in my grandma ‘s colouring book.

It was an activity that guided people through the steps to draw a particular item. I tried to lead her in this activity.

When we were doing the activity, I realised that it was really quite challenging. It required a ton of hand eye coordination.

So, I created the Step by Step Sketch Activity. It is a The 11 page downloadable PDF comprises 5 exercises.

It guides you and your loved ones to complete the drawing of the orange, seashell, leaf, flower and mushroom in a step by step way.

This is a great activity for seniors who love to draw. For seniors who can’t draw or has issues gripping a pen, you can engage them by getting them to spot the difference between the pictures.

Each picture is a progressive development from the previous, thus, there would be differences between the pictures.

I’m happy to get feedback on whether I should continue in this direction.

These products are currently on sale at $5 and $3 respectively. Check them out here!

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Giving up halfway

Giving up halfway

Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

When I started play huahee, there was lots of possibilities of what it could be.

I spent many nights being excited, dreaming of what I could build.

It was tremendously easy to be excited because there was nothing, and I was basically building sandcastles in the air.

It’s been a year since the Play huahee campaign went live on Indiegogo.

And, now it’s much harder. The hype of the launch has died down.

Sometimes, I feel like I haven’t moved the needle much. You take one step forward and maybe a million steps back.

I ask myself what I’m doing everyday and I question where I’m going a lot.

My husband told me that what I’m doing is like laying bricks and it takes a really long time to build a house.

If you can’t deal with the emotional rollercoaster of ups and downs (many more downs than ups) that come with it, maybe you’re not cut out for this.

But, I remember that even before Play Huahee was conceived, I promised myself that wherever this project went or turned out, I would not give up. It may take a totally different shape or form in the future.

In a recent chick flick that I watched, the female lead wanted to be a writer and she really struggled with her first draft. She couldn’t get past her head that she felt like it was a shitty article.

She only submitted the article after she accepted that maybe it’s okay for her first piece of work to be as shitty as shitty could be.

And, She would keep writing and writing till she gets better.

So, I probably need to get out of my head and accept that Play Huahee is nothing/nowhere right now.

And, I can then deal with whatever disappointment that may come.

When doing a long distance run, it is extremely difficult when you fixate on how you’re nowhere near the finish line.

But, the run becomes more manageable when you just run knowing that you’ve committed yourself to it.

If you read this, thanks for being a part of my journey.

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