29 Sep 2021

Before it’s too late

In the 2021 Oscars, Actor Sir Anthony Hopkins was awarded Best actor in a leading role for his riveting portrayal of a dementia patient in “The Father”. His shuddering performance pulled many audience’s heartstrings, while at the same time peeled back the curtain that has mystified the public conception of dementia.

No matter who you are, where you live, which lifestyle you have chosen to follow, there are two realities of life that serves to unify us all: Aging, our growth and development followed by our decline and season; and death, the inevitable, inescapable end. For an increasing amount of people, dementia is the midway transit between the two truths, as the mind deteriorates and its cognitive, memory, communication abilities retrench into diminishment, akin to death in spirit before the body catches on. 

We should strive to learn as much as we could about the dementia condition. Much less because it is a condition so severe and far-reaching, but for how intrinsically linked it is to understand the science of humanity. The factors leading to the development of dementia and its associated conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, is multi-dimensional and as varied as their myriad of symptoms. It can be attributed to flawed neurological development known as degeneration or alternatively the cold fate of genetics; it can be chalked up to risk factors such as pre-existing conditions of diabetes, stroke or depression. Dementia disorder manifests itself in mood swings, loss of sense of direction, before proceeding to cognitive decline in all directions. The study of Dementia is eclectic, encompassing disciplines like neuroscience, behavioural psychology, culture, public health, the list goes on. This can be the issue-focused gateway for you to branch out to different fields of expertise.

Only through deepening your knowledge in Dementia, would you construct the most effective, most empathetic method in treating its afflicted patients. You may simply be a relative or a friend, volunteering to care for someone you love who are diagnosed with dementia, frightened and uncertain; learning about Dementia in a clinical, objective light helps you formulate the best method to provide the best quality of care, to inflict minimum level of suffering.     

You may be an experienced healthcare worker in a nursing home, where looking after elderlies with disability is your much prided area of specialty; you would still need to incorporate such skills into workable research and theory, so as to proceed to the next great frontier of your professional career, not to mention validating your skillset into intangible, indisputable qualifications that is much desired.

At CSM Academy international, we are hosting Singapore’s ONLY Master of Science (MSc) in Dementia Studies. This part time program is developed and awarded by the University of Sterling (UK), home to the internationally renowned Dementia Services Development Centre. It adopts a blend of online learning and hands-on practice in CSM Academy’s private nursing home facility Claris Manor. Instead of examinations students are graded with a series of assessment such as essays and research to better measure their capabilities in diverse ways. The total duration of the course is 36 months comprising 9 modules, students have the liberty to opt out after completing 6 modules for a Postgraduate Diploma in Dementia Studies, or after completing 3 for a Postgraduate Certificate. But the more important things to attain at the end of your academic journey, is the proficiency regarding this much-discussed, much-studied medical condition, and the confidence to exercise said proficiency.