Funds contributed by ICAP Charity Day in Hong Kong have supported the Hong Kong Alzheimer’s Disease Association (HKADA). Every four seconds someone around the world is diagnosed with a cognitive disorder. Dementia is a degenerative disease that affects memory, thinking, emotions and behaviour. Sufferers may gradually lose all of their memory and self-care abilities, making on-going care essential.
A donation from Charity Day 2013 has helped Hong Kong Alzheimer’s Disease Association (HKADA) expand its programme to support carers; Timely Education and Support to the Caregivers.
Most of the people think that there is nothing we can do about dementia once we have it, but now I realise that there are steps I can take to slow the deterioration progress and improve quality of life with my wife. The feeling of having some amount of control over these sudden changes made a great difference for me.Mr. Yau, whose wife has been diagnosed with mild dementia.
Often carers need to provide round-the-clock support for a relative or loved-one with dementia. Taking care of a person with dementia can be a complicated and stressful task, a time full of uncertainties, especially for those unprepared carers who have to handle deteriorating symptoms and challenging or problematic behaviours of their loved-ones. For many becoming a carer often occurs suddenly and without formal support. The consequences can lead to carers themselves suffering from depression, self-blame, guilt and ultimately exhaustion which can cause further stress and tension within a family.
HKADA know carers can feel helpless when there is a lack of information about the disease and services available, this lack of knowledge also means some carers may have misconceptions which can lead to a delay of correct treatments for the patient.
With support from ICAP, HKADA has tailored support programmes for carers; including early detection assessments and public talks to raise awareness of dementia. Talks include a brief overview of how to care for people with dementia and seminars on specific caring skills. These sessions provide in-depth information and knowledge to enhance the carer’s skills and improve the patient’s quality of life. These workshops have also become a retreat for caregivers, as the regular gatherings help build up their own mutual support network.
Funds raised on the day will also enable HKADA to expand its helpline service for carers who are able to call to ask for information and seek advice about their care and best practices.