Closing of the 2nd Phase of Awareness, Prevention and Early Detection of Cognitive Impairment Project (“APEC II”)
Over 550 elders with mild cognitive impairment (“MCI”) and pre-MCI have completed the one-year APEC II project and developed a habit of taking physical and cognitive exercises regularly to combat cognitive and brain decline. The three organizing NGOs, Haven of Hope Christian Service (“HOH”), Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council (“SKH”) and Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service (“BOK”) held graduation ceremonies for their respective participants to share the successful experience and further promote the message of “early detection and intervention of dementia”.
The three graduation ceremonies were held on 7 July 2012 (HOH), 18 July 2012 (BOK) and 23 July 2012 (SKH) respectively. Participants performed what they had learned during the project including Qi-Gong 18, Square Stepping Exercise and Praise Dance Exercise. During the past year, these elders gathered at community centres and underwent three sessions of cognitive, physical and social activities per week. The three NGOs designed various activities such as Tai-qi, board games, chess and horticulture to enhance motivation. The elders said their memory has improved and their mind has become more nimble after the project. Being motivated by each other, they have become more active in exercising their mind and bodies.
APEC II was sponsored by the Simon K Y Lee Elderly Fund (“Elderly Fund”), which has focused on dementia services since 2008. This is the second time the Elderly Fund collaborating with the three NGOs. It commissioned Prof Linda Lam of the Dept. of Psychiatry at the Chinese University of Hong Kong to collect data from APEC II participants to devise an evidence-based intervention model to help elders with MCI to slow down cognitive and brain decline via regular cognitive and physical activities. Board members of the Elderly Fund gave thanks to the three NGO staff and volunteers for their effort and encouraged the participants to continue to take cognitive and physical exercises to combat deterioration.
APEC II also includes carer support and community education such as rummikub competition, talks and street screening stations. At mass public level, the Elderly Fund conducted a series of media initiatives such as TV infotainment, radio programmes and newspaper columns to raise people’s awareness on dementia.