Future living arrangements of Singaporeans with age-related dementia.

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With rapid aging, Singapore faces an increasing proportion of the population with age-related dementia. We used system dynamics methodology to estimate the number and proportion of people with mild, moderate, and severe dementia in future years and to examine the impact of changing family composition on their likely living arrangements.


A system dynamics model was constructed to estimate resident population, drawing birth and mortality rates from census data. We simulate future mild, moderate, and severe dementia prevalence matched with estimates of total dementia prevalence for the Asian region that includes Singapore. Then, integrating a submodel in which family size trends were projected based on fertility rates with tendencies for dependent elderly adults with dementia to live with family members, we estimate likely living arrangements of the future population of individuals with dementia.


Though lower than other previous estimates, our simulation results indicate an increase in the number and proportion of people in Singapore with severe dementia. This and the concurrent decrease in family size point to an increasing number of individuals with dementia unlikely to live at home.


The momenta of demographic and illness trends portend a higher number of individuals with dementia less likely to be cared for at home by family members. Traditions of care for frail elderly found in the diverse cultures of Singapore will be increasingly difficult to sustain, and care options that accommodate these demographic shifts are urgently needed.





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Thompson, James P, Crystal M Riley, Robert L Eberlein and David B Matchar (2012). Future living arrangements of Singaporeans with age-related dementia. International psychogeriatrics, 24(10). pp. 1592–1599. 10.1017/s1041610212000282 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/22896.

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David Bruce Matchar

Professor of Medicine

My research relates to clinical practice improvement - from the development of clinical policies to their implementation in real world clinical settings. Most recently my major content focus has been cerebrovascular disease. Other major clinical areas in which I work include the range of disabling neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, and cancer prevention.
Notable features of my work are: (1) reliance on analytic strategies such as meta-analysis, simulation, decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis; (2) a balancing of methodological rigor the needs of medical professionals; and (3) dependence on interdisciplinary groups of experts.
This approach is best illustrated by the Stroke Prevention Patient Outcome Research Team (PORT), for which I served as principal investigator. Funded by the AHCPR, the PORT involved 35 investigators at 13 institutions. The Stroke PORT has been highly productive and has led to a stroke prevention project funded as a public/private partnership by the AHCPR and DuPont Pharma, the Managing Anticoagulation Services Trial (MAST). MAST is a practice improvement trial in 6 managed care organizations, focussing on optimizing anticoagulation for individuals with atrial fibrillation.
I serve as consultant in the general area of analytic strategies for clinical policy development, as well as for specific projects related to stroke (e.g., acute stroke treatment, management of atrial fibrillation, and use of carotid endarterectomy.) I have worked with AHCPR (now AHRQ), ACP, AHA, AAN, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NSA, WHO, and several pharmaceutical companies.
Key Words: clinical policy, disease management, stroke, decision analysis, clinical guidelines

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