Release of Living Well with Dementia, sponsored by the Sun Hung Kai Properties Charitable Fund Professor Linda Lam speaks about dementia
Forgetfulness, continually squabbling with others for no reason, and loss of judgement are some of the early signs of dementia. In Hong Kong, one in 10 people aged 70 or above, and one in three aged 85 or above suffer from dementia. If you have family members suffering from the disease, it is important to know how to properly take care of them and how to deal with the situation.
At the invitation of the Sun Hung Kai Properties Charitable Fund, Professor Linda Lam from the Department of Psychiatry, of the Faculty of Medicine of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, hosted an eight-episode video series, called Living Well with Dementia. The first episode was released on the YouTube channel of Master Insight last Saturday (11 June). Short clips of the episodes will also be shown on buses of Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB) and digital panels at their bus stops to reach a wider audience. The video series is in Cantonese.
SHKP Chairman and Managing Director Raymond Kwok said: “With an aging population, Hong Kong has a growing number of elderly people with dementia. But many of us lead busy lives and have to juggle work and family commitments. People might not pay as much attention to their parents as they would like. And it is unfortunate that many people are already in the middle or late stages of dementia by the time a diagnosis is made.”
He added: “Professor Lam has researched dementia for many years and has extensive clinical experience. We are very pleased to have her in the video series. Each episode lasts only a few minutes, but provides useful tips on how to handle people with dementia in an easy-to-understand manner. I hope everyone, especially middle-aged people, who are often tied up with work, can take some time to view the programme. If your parents show early signs of dementia, take them to see a doctor as soon as possible. Pay close attention to their physical and mental health and stay positive.”
Professor Lam said: “Dementia is a common disease among older people, and it will affect their physical health. Early treatment will have huge benefits for the patients and their families, both physically and mentally.”
Clips of Living Well with Dementia are being broadcast on KMB buses and 1,100 digital panels at its bus stops. They can also be watched on the KMB mobile app, App1933.
Roger Lee, KMB Managing Director, expressed his gratitude to Professor Lam and the other guests for appearing in the programme, which helps raise public awareness of dementia. He pointed out that given the extensive network of KMB’s public transport system, playing the videos in bus compartments and on digital panels at bus stops can optimize the delivery of information to passengers of different ages. He added: “We hope that in addition to benefitting older people, the programme will alert young people to pay more attention to the health of the elderly. KMB will continue to make the best use of its buses and facilities to share health information with the public to help build an age-friendly community.”
In Living Well with Dementia, Professor Lam introduces the symptoms of and treatments for dementia from a professional’s point of view. The programme also has four guests, who share their experience and knowledge.
- In episode four, retired teacher May Mok speaks about her active retirement life. She is passionate about learning new things and exercising, including Tai Chi and yoga. Doing exercise helps her maintain physical mobility and provides satisfaction and motivation.
- In episode five, Father Thomas Kwan explains how to practise mindfulness, which helps dementia patients and caregivers cope with feelings of unease and anxiety. It can be practised anytime, anywhere, even when eating, walking or resting.
- In episode six, Cecelia Chan, who has been a caregiver for dementia patients for some years, stresses the importance of taking them to seek medical advice as early as possible. This will allow them to live a quality life in their later years. She also suggests that caregivers express their feelings to others and make use of social resources to alleviate their pressure.
- In episode seven, solicitor Hazel Wong explains why it is necessary to make an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) before dementia patients reach the late stage of the disease, when they have lost their self-care ability and are unable to communicate. A registered EPA will allow an attorney to take care of the financial affairs of the donor (the person who established the EPA) in the event that the latter becomes mentally incapacitated. Donors can apply to revoke the EPA at any time as long as they still have mental capacity.
The episodes of Living Well with Dementia (in Cantonese) will be uploaded to the YouTube channel of Master Insight every Saturday. Please click here to watch.
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