Smart Phone

I was to meet a friend for lunch and told her to call me when she arrived at the mall.

I waited and waited and no call came. So I decided to check my phone. Dang it, there was a missed call from my friend that my phone had declined!

Have you ever had the experience where you put your phone in your trouser pocket and it autodials your last call? Or have you ever been on the other end and received calls from phones in pockets acting independently? And all you hear is the rustling of fabric and perhaps snippets of conversations not meant for you. Well I have experienced both these events.

This time my phone had gone one step better. It had not only declined my friend’s phone call but had also sent a text to my friend saying “I’m on my way”! So I hadn’t heard the phone ringing and my friend didn’t call back thinking I was already aware.

Now how smart is that? This phone is being too smart for me.

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Gardens by the Bay – 2

This is my second post of a fantastic visit to Gardens by the Bay. This time the focus is on the Succulents and Baobab section of the Flower Dome. The variety and health of the specimens was mind-boggling. I was also mightily impressed with the thought and effort put into the design and sculptures put in place. Look out for the characters in “Aloes in Wonderland”.

Aloes in Wonderland
Caterpillar
Aloes in Wonderland
White Rabbit
Aloes in Wonderland
A “card”… Haha

Gardens by the Bay – 1

Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay is a fabulous botanical garden. I will let the pictures speak for themselves! There are 2 air-conditioned domes – a Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. If you’re visiting, do set aside at least 2 hours for each of the domes.

This first post will focus on the flowers of the Flower Dome which is currently running a special cherry blossom display alongside a Japan Fair. I really enjoyed walking amidst the blooms and capturing the flowers on camera.

My next post will feature the succulents in the Flower Dome. Wait for it!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Sakura or cherry blossom

Flower

Japanese gate
The decor adds to the ambience
Prunus yeodensis
Prunus yeodensis
Daffodils
Daffodils
Flower box
Singapore skyline seen through the dome

Flower

Dollhouse
All the flowers there are real!
Blooming Sakura
I believe the blooms are at their best now. Someone accidentally shook a trunk and petals rained down.

Scene

Flower
Beautiful but I didn’t catch the name
Prunus kikushidare
A variant of Sakura that is “chrysanthemum-like”
Bonsai
Another Japanese scene

 

Dementia Artefacts

Mom lives in the present and is happy and contented on the whole. I think she lives fully in the present moment, with no worries of the future and no grudges of the past. She remembers little of her past anyway and not remembering doesn’t bother her.

Some others with dementia may suffer from memory tricks where the past is bright and clear, and the present foggy and confused. Such persons seem to be living in the past. They may talk about long dead persons as though they were still alive, and want to “go home” to another home which no longer exists. They are restless and disoriented.

To address disorientation, sometimes caregivers put out artefacts to trigger memories, conversation or even just to provide a familiar welcoming setting. Replicas of homes and items are recreated or purchased and displayed with fanfare. Personally I don’t think it works that well, because no recreation hits the mark for everyone, since everyone has a different past! National Museums Liverpool must be commended for curating items that suits a persons particular past, into a memory stimulating suitcase full of selected items. Do look them up.

Here I’ve cobbled together some examples of dementia care scenes in Singapore:

Cupboard of Items
Bigger than a suitcase, and it doesn’t need to fit into a scene. A useful way to introduce lots of artefacts in a small space.
Rustic Scene 1
Though not everyone with dementia grew up in such surroundings, this is still a very peaceful scene.
Rustic Scene 2
Hope the monkey doesn’t disturb anyone!
Home Setting
What a home might have looked like in the 1960s give or take 15 years. Mom would feel distressed in a place like this, because she would think she was a guest, and know that this is not her home.

Facing Dementia

Last year, a Singapore documentary maker filmed a short series called Facing Dementia, spurred on by his experiences with his mother. Galen Yeo interviewed persons with dementia and their caregivers, giving a poignant view of the struggle to live with dementia and the available support in Singapore.

Some memorable people in the series:

  • A woman acting violently towards caregivers because she didn’t like what was going on,
  • An artist expressing his feelings as a caregiver for his mother through visual art,
  • A woman with young onset dementia who lost her job and stayed home until she was properly diagnosed and started on dementia day care,
  • A retired man with dementia who was living as well as he could and making plans for his future,
  • Persons with dementia and their caregivers experiencing a support group.

Every person with dementia has a different journey, and the series portrayed the variety of challenges faced. Some of the persons with dementia were able to afford and hire caregivers, others were reliant on family members, some of whom had to downsize their careers.

I strongly recommend this series for anyone (especially in Singapore) who wants to know about dementia and the treatment and support available. Singaporeans are at a higher risk of dementia than the developed Western world, for reasons that are not obvious.

You can watch a 10-minute trailer on Galen’s mother here:

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/video-on-demand/facing-dementia

The same page has links to the other 5 hour-long episodes which are:

Episode 1 – Do I Have Dementia?
Episode 2 – The Long Road Ahead (about young onset dementia)
Episode 3 – Caregivers and Loved Ones
Episode 4 – Beyond Medicine
Episode 5 – What the Future Holds

If you prefer Youtube, see the link below:

Super Blue Blood Moon

The weather in Singapore is often so cloudy that we cannot be sure we will see any astronomical phenomena. So it was with some surprise that the January 31 moon was well visible through most of its phases. For the record, it was a Blue moon (the second full moon in a month), a Blood moon (due to a phase in the eclipse when partial sunlight hits the moon) and a Super moon (as the moon is closest to the Earth at this time).

These are my intermittent attempts to catch the moon through its phases over four hours, as seen from Singapore!

Beginning
Super moon rising, shining brightly
Eclipse starting
A little bite in the bottom left corner as Earth casts its shadow
Blood Moon!
Blood moon!
Closer View
A closer view of the blood moon
Full Eclipse
Full eclipse with a bright crescent where the Earth’s shadow is leaving the moon
Eclipse is over
It’s the super moon again, almost directly overhead
Wolf moon?
The clouds give the moon a blue and red halo