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Press Release

Dementia Care Seminar cum Kick-off Ceremony for Dementia Care Campaign

13 Oct 2006

With the ageing of the population, there is increased concern over all types of degenerative diseases such as dementia. To estimate the prevalence rate of dementia among community elders in Hong Kong, the Elderly Health Service of the Department of Health and the Department of Psychiatry of the Chinese University of Hong Kong have collaborated to conduct a study on elderly cognitive status during October 2005 to August 2006.

The study found that among people aged 60 and above, the prevalence rate of dementia increased with age and doubled for every 5 years. While the percentage of people for the age group 60 to 64 suffering from dementia was 1.2%, the percentage increased to 32% for the age group 85 years and above. For the severity of the disease, 84.6% were suffering from mild, 9.8% were moderate and 5.6% were severe grades. Only 11% for those sufferers had doctor diagnosis before the study. On the classification of dementia, 73.5% of the sufferers were suffering from Alzheimer's disease and 22.4% of them were vascular dementia.

Based on the study findings, the overall prevalence rate of dementia among Hong Kong community elders aged 70 and above was estimated to be 9.3%, with 15.3% for female and 8.9% for male. This is similar to the pattern in other countries like Korea. Professor Linda Lam of the Department of Psychiatry of the Chinese University of Hong Kong said by using this prevalence rate to project to the Hong Kong population, there are about 70000 community elders suffering from various degree of dementia. As only 11% of them had doctor diagnosis, it is important for the public to increase awareness for this condition. Early medical consultation should be sought for those suspected to be having dementia so as to maintain the self care ability of the patient as far as possible.

Dr Chan Wai-man, Assistant Director of Health (Family and Elderly Health Services) said early medical consultation can also help family members to master the skills in tackling the emotional and behavioural problems, so that conflicts and dispute could be minimized. Mental adjustment also enables family members to better manage stress, improve their own mental health, which in turn would improve the quality of care provided for the demented. She added that vascular dementia can be prevented by paying attention to vascular health viz : no smoking, balanced diet, regular exercise and proper control of hypertension and diabetes. Engaging in more cognitive activities eg card games, reading also help to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

During the last 3 years, Elderly Health Service has used many channels and collaborated with organisations to promote awareness for dementia. A VCD on dementia care has been produced. Details can be obtained from the Elderly Health Service webpage This link will open in a new window The Elderly Health Service of the Department of Health is collaborating with a number of non-governmental elderly service providers to organize a series of promotional activities from November 2006 to March 2007 to strengthen the knowledge and skills of the general public in caring for the demented. Details of the activities can be obtained from the following service providers:

Collaborating service providers Date of functions Contact number
1. TWGH Fong Shu Chuen District Elderly Community Centre
2. The Salvation Army Hong Kong & Macau Command Mongkok Integrated Services for Senior Citizens
3. Pok Oi Hospital Yuen Long Wong Tung Yuen District Elderly Community Centre
4. The Salvation Army Hong Kong & Macau Command Tai Po Integrated Services for Senior Citizens
5. SAGE Tsuen Kwai Tsing Integrated Elderly Services
6. Jockey Club Centre for Positive Ageing
7. Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Western District Elderly Community Centre
8. The Salvation Army Yau Ma Tei Multi – service Centre for Senior Citizens
9. Hong Kong Alzheimer's Disease Association


  Last Revision Date : 13 October 2006