"April 7, 2020 marked the first day of Circuit Breaker and the temporary closure of the Dementia Daycare Centre my mother-in-law attends. Hence began the Herculean Task of keeping my mother-in-law occupied before she drives everyone at home (my husband & I, our 4 grown children & our helper) crazy. Out from the storeroom came long-forgotten/abandoned children colouring books, crayons, colour pencils, puzzles, card games etc. We thought we could just set her an easy task and go about our own business. Alas, we were too naïve, she needed close supervision for even the simplest task. We had to take turns to sit down with her and endure her non-stop, repeated questions of where her mother and husband are (passed away 7 and 4 years ago respectively!) etc. She also insisted on going home (she’s been living with us for 21 years!), going out to do marketing, to withdraw money for Chinese New Year (which was 3 months ago!); so we had to bring her for short walks around the neighbourhood (pretending to bring her 'home' or to go marketing, & invariably, on the walk, she forgot where she was headed in the first place, haha) … From only having to deal with her when she came home from Daycare, it became a 24-7 task …We celebrated when the Daycare Centre reopened. Then, we were told that she may get ‘expelled’ as she refused (or forgot?) to keep her facemask on at all times at the Daycare Centre. Fortunately for us, she eventually passed the face mask test! We marvel at how the caregivers at the Dementia Daycare mange to care for so many dementia old folks every day (Monday-Friday). It certainly requires great patience & understanding. Kudo to them!"--Contributed by Tan Lee Lian, as part of the "Documenting COVID-19 in Singapore" collection community call.
All rights reserved. Tan Lee Lian, 2020