The Bougainvillea City Dementia Cafe in Ipoh was the brainchild of Pak Peter. After his wife Irene’s first art exhibition in June 2022, he saw that there was a need to raise awareness of dementia in the general public and that dementia carers needed a venue where they could mingle and connect.
The inaugural meeting of the Bougainvillea City Dementia Café took place on November 15, 2022. The Bougainvillea City Dementia Cafe (BCDC) in Ipoh adheres to a set of principles and rules established by the Irish Dementia Cafe Network, of which it is an affiliate member. The four principles of a dementia cafe are atmosphere, information, support and community. This café is run by local voluntary steering committees and is located at located at 1, Jalan Lasam, Greentown, Ipoh.
Their meetings are every third Tuesday of the month, during this meeting dementia patients and their care takers to discuss ideas, information, and experiences in an informal setting. Future meeting are to feature talks from medical professionals who deals or specializes in dementia and as well as other related speakers.
My Ipoh was given an opportunity to attend one of their monthly meetings which we attended and the topic was Family support is key to dementia care. The café was spacious and welcoming with snacks and pre mix beverages available for the guest.
Pak Peter started the discussion by talking about his wife Irene’s dementia and how hard it was to find information about dementia.He also introduce the latest volunteer, Ms Jennifer from NASAM. Mr. Kathiravan Tangaraju who is also affiliated with NASAM, also joined the event . In addition to this, he emphasised how vital it is for nongovernmental organisations to get together in order to raise awareness.
Madam Kuldip Kaur, a retired nurse, took the floor as the second speaker. She spoke about the time she spent taking care of her mother, who sadly passed away in August 2022. Her greatest regret is that she did not know more about dementia at the time, because if she had, she would have been able to provide her mother with better care. She also emphasised that there is a lack of knowledge about dementia and that there is not much awareness regarding the condition in Malaysia, let alone in Ipoh.
She went on to describe some of her mother’s symptoms, which included
- Losing weight
- Falling down
- Repeating herself
- Shuffling when she walks
As a result of their diet, they are particularly prone to being dehydrated, therefore she also emphasises the significance of taking care of their skin. She also gave safety suggestions, such as wearing comfortable, not-too-tight, not-too-loose attire, wear covered shoes and have a bed with railings .
One of her other regrets is that she was unable to spend time with her mother before the onset of dementia.
“Talk to them before they can’t, and appreciate the memories you make with them,” she said.
After Madam Kuldip Kaur had shared her experiences, the floor was opened up for guests to engage in more casual conversation and share their own personal experiences.
If you are interested in joining them or want more information, please contact the Café Coordinator, Pak Peter, at 019 5743572, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow them on their facebook page, which is called Dementiacafe Ipoh.