Dr Bharathi Balasundaram
Changi General Hospital
CLINICAL UPDATE 4:
Psycho-Geriatrics – Dementia
Date: 23 September 2017, Saturday
Time: 4.30pm to 5.30pm
Synopsis: Singapore faces a rapidly ageing population. By year 2030, the number of Singaporeans aged 65 and above is projected to double, which means 1 in 4 Singaporeans will be in this age group. Locally, 1 in 10 people aged 60 and above have dementia. Along with the ageing population, this number is expected to grow.
Being at the frontline of care in the community, primary healthcare professionals are the first point of contact in detecting dementia and the behavioural symptoms associated with dementia. It is important for primary healthcare professionals to be able to recognise dementia and their mimics.
Medico-legal aspects in the elderly with dementia are also an area of growing importance which many primary healthcare professionals grapple with. Some recurring questions include: Can mental capacity be assessed in the primary healthcare setting? When should they refer?
In this session, we are honoured to have Dr Bharathi from Changi General Hospital share with us an overview of dementia, as well as medico-legal aspects in elderly with dementia.
Dr Bharathi Balasundaram has been employed as Consultant in Geriatric Psychiatry at Changi General Hospital (CGH) since September 2014. She was trained in Old Age Psychiatry in the United Kingdom (England) where she worked for 14 years. She worked as a Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry for nearly seven years prior to her move to CGH.
Liaison Psychiatry in older people, delirium, risk assessment in Psychiatry and dementia are her areas of special interest. Medicolegal aspects in elderly are her other areas of special interest. She has undertaken work on streamlining care pathways on Mental Capacity assessments in CGH and is involved in leading the Psycho-Geriatric, Consultation Liaison service.
Dr Balasundaram is passionate about quality and patient safety and has recently taken on the role of director of Programme for Clinical Excellence in the department of Psychological Medicine at CGH to drive up standards of care.
In addition to MRCPsych in Psychiatry, she has a Master’s degree in clinical Psychiatry. Her thesis was on delirium in vascular surgical patients.
She is keen to work closely with primary care and strives to build relationships with colleagues in primary care.