According to the World Alzheimer Report in 2015, worldwide someone is diagnosed with dementia every 3 seconds1. In Hong Kong, according to the Hospital Authority, the prevalence rates of dementia in Hong Kong is estimated to be at 5%-8% among persons aged over 65, and at 20%-30% among those aged over 802. An academic study published in 2012 estimated that among persons aged 60 and above, around 333 000 or 11% would be suffering from dementia in 20393.
On the other hand, the epidemic of dementia in residential units of The Hong Kong Society for the Aged (SAGE) has been already over 50% with an increasing trend from year to year. SAGE actively advocates the prevention of cognitive deterioration of elders. Over 10 years ago, we have put the enhancement of the quality of dementia service as one of the major strategy of SAGE, e.g. transforming Kwan Fong Nim Chee Home for the Elderly into a specified service unit for dementia in 1999, establishment of dementia strategy and working group, annual budget of over one million for recruitment of extra manpower for dementia care, continuous staff training on related care skills, etc. We will continue to strive for higher standard of dementia service, quality of life, and relieving the stress of cares.
Apart from the enhancement of residential dementia service, our organization also endeavors in health care of brain and prevention of related diseases for the elders inside the community. As we always said, prevention is better than cure, providing service for elders with dementia is not the only way in coping with this disease. There are other better preventive strategies in cultivating the habit of elders on “Love your Brain, Take Care your Brain” in order to reduce the problems resulted from dementia.
In 2007, SAGE has been supported by The Community Chest of Hong Kong to set up Love-your-brain website, which is the first worldwide website for advocating health care of brain for elders in the Chinese society. By means of interactive computer games in this website, it provides elders with an online cognitive training station. It also provides knowledge and practical skills in health care of brain, and maintains brain function through different training domains including memory, concentration, eye-hand coordination, calculation, and judgment, so that cognitive deterioration can be delayed. Meanwhile, positive changes in daily life among elders can be achieved by enhancing holistic health as well as enriching late years. Either personal or organization, every person can register an individual user account in the website. According to individual training needs, different levels of online cognitive games can be selected. The website also keeps performance record of each user. It facilitates the analysis and monitoring the performance of users in order to achieve evidence-based service.
Love-your-brain website has been actively developed by SAGE and receive several global recognition prizes:
- APICTA Award 2010 - Best of E-Inclusion and E-Community
- Hong Kong ICT Award 2009 - Best Digital Inclusion Grand Award and Best Digital Inclusion (Products/Applications) Gold Award
- Human Service Information Technology Applications 2009 - Best Application Award 2nd Runner-up
The outstanding design of Love-your-brain website is fully appreciated with high actual application value, effective use of ICT in the community and satisfy user’s needs. The website is widely used in non-government organizations and medical service units in Hong Kong.
Aims of Project
To improve the elders’ knowledge about the brain, and advocate the maintenance of health care of brain and the importance of prevention on deterioration of brain function
To assist the elders in self-management on health care of brain for enhancing brain function, confidence and self-esteem
To promote intergenerational inclusion with love and care of family culture through participation in online cognitive training games with young people
To arouse public awareness on health care of brain, bio-psychosocial changes and related deteriorative diseases (e.g. dementia) of elders
1 World Health Organization. Dementia: A Public Health Priority. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2012.
2 Legislative Council of Hong Kong. Care services for elderly persons with dementia ISE10/16-17
3 Yu R, Chau PH, McGhee SM, Cheung WL, Chan KC, Cheung SH and Woo J.(2012) Trends in Prevalence and Mortality of Dementia in Elderly Hong Kong Population: Projections, Disease Burden, and Implications for Long-Term Care. International Journal of Alzheimers Disease. Vol 2012, Article ID 406852.