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January 20, 2017

Caring for Dementia Elderly: Looking for Helper

When Grandma was diagnosed with stroke, the doctor advised us to engage a trained helper to take care of grandma. The goal is simple, the family should be able to function as normal while ensuring that grandma is well looked after and ensure that essential activities such as bathing and toileting are well taken care of. As a result of the stroke, grandma suffered from both vascular dementia and a deterioration of motor skills, especially in her ability to walk, in which the helper has to help to ensure that she does not fall down.

We were informed by the doctors that we would not be able to bring grandma home, unless we are able to employ a trained helper to help take care of her needs and we were given 2 weeks as the hospital is simply too crowded to grandma to stay any longer. The search for an experienced helper was on with my sister working to interview the helper, while I took care of all necessary legal documentation and coursework to get the helper to our place ASAP. Meanwhile, Mum and Dad started to procure new furniture and home configuration to prepare for a disabled elderly. After extensive interview sessions, my sis managed to locate an experienced Indonesian helper who had 7 years of experience working with dementia elderly in Taiwan. She is able to speak mandarin and hokkien, which is crucial in daily communication with a dementia patient. However, the paperwork took longer than expected and we were unable to complete all the requirements by the end of the 2 weeks period. The doctor than decided to move grandma to St Andrew community hospital and we were told by the doctor that we have another week extension to bring in the helper.

Luckily, there is no other hiccups with the application and soon, our helper, named Ati, touched down at Singapore shores. However, before we can bring grandma home, the helper had to undergo training at the hospital and it was another week later, that everything was in place to welcome grandma home.

We breathe a sign of relief that we have gotten the house and helper in order and that was 4 very stressful weeks as the family banded together to put together a safe environment for grandma and we looked forward to bring grandma home.

A week after bringing grandma home, we began to realize that the journey has just started and the mad rush for the home preparation and helper scouting are the easy parts of the journey.

January 9, 2017

Caring for Dementia Elderly: Home Configuration

While I was in Europe in October, my parents came back home and found grandma on the floor, unconscious, laying beside her sewing kit. Grandma had a stroke. She was immediately sent to hospital and soon after, the effects of the brain damage as a result, she was diagnosed with vascular dementia. Other than a slurring of speech pattern, coordination skills and a weakening of her legs, her memories became confused with time, place and people.

For example, she will think that her mother, who has died over 70 years ago, is alive and well at home.

She also got confused with the number of family members at home. She strongly believes that I have an elder brother called "Song Song", whom does not exist in the first place. "Song song" is the pet name. We had to keep her updated on the number of family members by constantly showing her her family pictures

December 6, 2016

Announcement - Regular Blog Post Activities will be Disrupted!

Dear Friends,

I will have to apologize that blog posts from SG Unfit Runners will be erratic for a while.

The reason why is because my 93 years old grandma suffered a stroke while I was away in Europe and that has caused her to suffer from a serious form of dementia. She also has mobility problem and we have recruited the help of a helper to assist her in her daily activities. As a strong and independent person, this blow took a toll on her mental state and she is unable to cope with her loss of independence. Combined with a dementia problem, she has transformed into an angry lady with an extremely foul mouth, leaving my mum and my helper often in tears. She also started to have suicidal tendencies in recent days which we have to monitor constantly.

I have to spend more time to help out with the family in taking care of Grandma and as such, I have to slow down on my writing on SG Unfit Runners. The other members of the Unfit Runners have offered help but they are unable to write as constantly. They blame it on their rusty writing skills which they have seldom used ever since they left school and everyone started comparing their GP (English) scores trying to compete who has the worst score.

On the bright side, I see this episode as a caretaker to an elderly suicidal dementia patient as an experience which I can share with my readers. There has been many incidents so far, some funny, some not so funny... and I will share them here.

Afterall, this is a health and fitness blog!

And I will continue on with our adventures in Poland, Krakow at a later date.

Yours Sincerely,
Editor of SG Unfit Runners.

Event Alert - Income Eco Run 2017

The SG Unfit Runners are a group of long time friends who joined, Green Project, an environmental awareness club, during their high school days. We became the Garang Guni (A Singaporean slang for used goods collector) of the school and often engage in the less glamorous activities of recycling used goods for the school.

Seems like the Green movement has come a long way since than with now a run with a focus on environmental friendliness.

Income Eco Run 2017, which will take place on 30 April 2017 at the F1 Pit Building, will
continue to drive the green message amongst runners and people in Singapore at large,
calling members of the public to take to the run to show their pledge for green practices.
In fact, Income will up its ante on its green commitment next year by embarking on a detailed
‘green’ audit partnering Green Future Solutions, which helps organizations address
environmental challenges and identify green opportunities.

To hit home the message on reduce, reuse and recycle, Income Eco Run 2017 will introduce
the ‘ Zero-Waste Runner’. As a ‘Zero-Waste Runner’, participants will not receive a finisher
tee and race medal to help reduce wastage from producing race entitlements. The
registration to be a Zero-Waste runner is limited to the first 1,000 participants. They will be
recognized as ‘Zero-Waste Runner’ with a special silkscreened symbol on their race tee and
given a BYO bottle.

For more information, please visit

November 4, 2016

Budapest - Hungary: The City of Thermal Spas

We wanted to run in Budapest but just couldn't find the strength or motivation to do it. The many days of sinful living eating nothing but meat and beer has sapped our will to crawl out of the bed early in the morning. The intensity of our "Death Marches" around the Castle Hills of Buda and museums have left our feet sore. We badly need a good massage or a hot soak in an Onsen.

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is also known as the City of Spas with more than 100 thermal springs dotted all around the city. The Unfit runners have been to many baths in the world, ranging from the Onsen in Japan, Wenquan in Taiwan and Moorish baths in Spain. I will say that the look and feel of the thermal bath in Budapest is definitely different. While the baths in Spain and Japan have a more exclusive and private feel to them, the baths in Budapest are bigger and are often visited by families.

September 26, 2016

Vienna - Austria: Breathtaking Gardens and Architecture

It's 730am at Vienna, Austria....

PES E, "Hey guys, want to do a run?"

<Deadly silence and snores>

PES E, "Holy shit, there is a Charmander near our apartment!" 

Big Boned Guy, "Where where? I need one!I killed my low IV Charmander and need a new one to walk with me!"

PES E, "We have 10mins left! Let's change to our running attire within 5mins!"

Big Boned Guy, "Rigghhtt! GET UP ALCOHOLIC! Time to run!!"

Within 5 mins, we have changed to our running attire and off for a run.

Vienna in the early morning is a quiet city. Our hotel is located right next to the main shopping district of Mariahilfer Straße which is also known as one of the longest shopping street in Austria. The entire length of the shopping street is almost deserted, with only the cleaners hard at work. In fact, the shops at Vienna closes pretty early at 6-7pm and all the activities move to the pubs and cafes. The shopping street connects the bustling Vienna central railway station and the historical, cultural and political hub of Vienna. 

The first area that you will encounter is the Maria-Theresien-Platz , which is the site of two museums, the Natural History Museum and the Art History Museum. Beyond the Maria Platz, lies the historical district of Vienna where you can find famous buildings such as the Vienna State Opera, St Stephan Cathedral and the Austria Parliament. A myriad of beautifully curated gardens surrounds the historical down town area and I promise that you will be distracted by the beautiful bulbs of roses, blooms, fountains and statues along the way that you will inevitable stop to take some pictures.

Overall, Vienna is a beautiful city to run and explore. The traffic is light in the early morning and the pavements are wide and smooth to run. The good mixture of interesting architecture and beautiful parks keep the run interesting. I will strongly recommend anybody who visits Vienna to plan a run.

Now, if they will just improve their breakfast selection, than it will be perfect...

September 23, 2016

Salzburg - Austria: Mozart and The Sound of Music

Salzburg is the birth place of famous music composer, Mozart and the location where the 1965 film: Sound of Music was being filmed. With the old and new city flanking the Salzach river, the city is a mix of gardens, castles, rustic town halls and modern town houses making the city a delight to run and explore. The Salzach river is lined with well paved running and bicycle track and the track is designed to run under the bridges which allows undisturbed running all along the river. To make the run even more interesting, you can either run into the old town area which houses famous landmarks such as the Hohensalzburg Castle, Salzburg Cathedral and the old district lined with beautiful town houses and the birthplace of Mozart.

The other bank boosted newer buildings and the famous Mirabell Palace where the scene in which the song "Do Re Mi" from the Sound of Music was featured. The streets are also lined with modern buildings, chic restaurants, fountains and water features. It is one of the perfect spot to chill with a cup of hot tea/coffee in the day and a class of Austrian wine during the evenings.

There is always something new and interesting around the corner at Salzburg, which makes the run always interesting. Combine that with the perfect autumn temperature of 10-15 degrees, the running environment is one of the best I have encountered. I will definitely anybody who visits Salzburg to plan a run and you will be amazed by new encounters and sights.

September 19, 2016

SG Unfit Runners Eastern Europe Trip - Oktoberfest

It's the time of the year that the Sg Unfit Runners go on a month long trip to different parts of the world and discover the joy of running in strange new places and discovering new things. Running is probably one of the best way to explore the city, often along with a beautiful sunrise to accompany us on the run. This trip consist of PES E, Big Boned Guy and Alcoholic and while touring eastern Europe is the main objective, the hidden agenda is to actually attend the Oktoberfest at Munich and gorge ourselves silly with beer and pork knuckles before setting off to Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest, Krakow, Prague, Nuremberg and back to Munich. Since we will be walking quite a bit every day, we probably won't be doing a run in every city as it will be absolutely exhausting to do that.

Meanwhile at Munich, we probably will not do any run as the weather consist of rain and drizzle. Attending Oktoberfest under such condition is actually quite miserable we are unable to participate in many of the outdoor activities.

Meanwhile, here are some of the pictures we took during the fair and if you are curious which beer tent and beer is the best and most happening, let us share with you a tip: Ausgustiner.

If you do visit Oktoberfest, that is the tent and beer you must definitely try out. We have talked to locals and visitors who have came from far and abroad and so far, the Ausgustiner tent has been consistently rated as one of the best place to chill out. However, do go there early, probably at 4pm, else you will probably be barred at the entrance by the security to prevent overcrowding.

If you have any questions on Oktoberfest, feel free to leave your comments below!

Meanwhile, many Mr Mime have been spotted at Silberhornstraße area.

September 6, 2016

SG Unfit Runners Pokemon Hunt: Pearl's Hill

The Pokemon Go Nest change resulted in many lost opportunities [Pikachu :( ] and created new ones. One of the most exciting change occurred on Pearl's Hill whereby a nest of Abra took up residence on a hill in the middle of China Town. With a only a few Abra in our collection, Big Boned Guy and me met for dinner at the nearby food center before venturing our climb up the hill.

This is probably one of the most unpleasant Pokemon hunt we have ever encountered.

Pearl's Hill key feature is perhaps... Steps. Many many flights of steps. On the evening we went, the place was devoid of any wind creating a hot, humid sauna like environment. To top that off, there are mosquitoes... and there was even before the Zika outbreak in Singapore.

However, all these were bearable if we just needed to perch on a bench and start swiping away. For some reason, the Abra spawns along the vertical side of the hill, forcing hunters to move up and down the narrow stairways. Lastly, Abra has a sadistic sense of humor with a very high flee rate. One-third of the Abra escaped our clutches despite using a deadly combination of Razzberries and Great Balls. In order to get a fully evolved Alakazam, we estimated that we will probably need to hang around for 4 hours. 1 hour into the hunt, we are already drenched in sweat in our office attire and attacked by countless mozzies.

Big Fat Guy decided to call it quits and we rush down the hill heading for the nearest drinking hole.

Besides, that lucky bastard already caught an Alakazam on his way home one day and he needed just a few Abra for his Kadabra.

As for me, I am just happy to get out of the mosquito attack zone.

Unless there is a Snorlax nest for the next nest change, I will probably avoid venturing up Pearl's Hill for any Pokemon hunt in the near future. The amount of stairs climbing is extremely bad for the wobbly knees of Unfit Runners.

Advice for other Pokemon Hunters: Bring lots of water and insect repellent. 

August 23, 2016

SG Unfit Runners Pokemon Hunt: Pikachu Moves House

I went for my usual run at Bedok Reservoir tonight and as usual, I have my Pokeballs well stocked to catch a bunch of Staryu and Horsea and Magikarp. Other than a couple of Dratini which will occasionally grace my regular running spot, there is no rare Pokemon sightings to rave about in the area.

While running, I observed a sharp spike in the number of Scyther around the reservoir. In fact, there is so many of them that I did not bother to throw my Pokeballs at them after the 8th one... Has Bedok Reservoir suddenly became a Scyther nest? In that case, is that a country wide migration of Pokemon?

I recall that one of my friend is visiting the far fetch Changi Village to visit the well documented Pikachu nest over there and true to my suspicion, Pikachu has moved their house. My friend is apparently pretty upset over this and I will probably have to compensate her for her "pain and suffering".

A few more messages to some of my more avid Pokemon hunting friends who are living around the country has further comfirm my theory. The Pokemons have packed their bags and many of them have moved to other places.

This development makes things extremely interesting for the SG Unfit Runners as we travel around Singapore for our weekly Sunday runs. It also means that we can get to encounter vastly different Pokemon, when we travel back to the same spot a few weeks later for our run.

Meanwhile, we will have to go back to our previous hunting spots to check out if these areas are still spawning rare Pokemon.

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