KWNC Visits Dementia Friendly Community in UK and Signs Cooperation Agreement with Plymouth University to Facilitate Promotion of Dementia Friendly City in Macao

  • KWNC President Van and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Payne of Plymouth University signing Memorandum of Understanding

  • KWNC delegation visiting Plymouth University

A delegation of four members under the lead of KWNC President Van Iat Kio visited Plymouth, the south coast of Devon, England on 13 to 22 March 2017 for the "Plymouth International Dementia Conference 2017" as well as to sign a cooperation agreement with Plymouth University. Through the cooperation agreement, it is hoped that the exchanges between teachers and students as well as research collaborations on dementia prevention and ageing studies between both institutions can be facilitated so as to help establishing a dementia friendly city for Macao.

KWNC Associate Professor Zeng Wen was invited to be one of the speakers at the conference, where he introduced the 5-year dementia prevention and promotion plan of KWNC. Active exchanges then followed among speakers from China, Japan, Belgium, Italy, and the UK, etc. regarding dementia care worldwide. All speakers agreed that people-oriented mindset must be applied. It is also agreed that with early education to people in the community on dementia, relevant patients can be treated fairly. Furthermore, through training for residents as well as public service personnel under the supervision of the government, people with dementia are given the environment and right to live freely. 

"Benevolence Lights up my Later Life: A Tailored Meta-programme to Face with Ageing Population in Macau" is one of the major programmes of KWNC. Throughout years of contributions and promotions, the community has gained certain understanding of dementia. Facing the fact that there are growing cases in dementia, Macao SAR Government has planned to develop the city as a dementia friendly community. According to Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI), the establishment of a dementia friendly community can help soothe the stress of dementia patients as well as their caregivers and families. It is therefore recommended for the community to start building up the knowledge and acceptance among people to dementia, eliminating discrimination or labelling, enhancing closer collaborations among institutions, improving community and household facilities, strengthening medication, social service, education and relevant hardware. Furthermore, early education since childhood in showing care and respect for older persons, enhancement in nurturing medical and nursing personnel, provision of more inter-professional learning opportunities, equipment of high quality medical service team to tackle the ageing society as well as provision of training for public service personnel including police, banking, transportation, property management and grocery shopping services, etc. can help provide timely support for dementia patients so as to help them integrate with the community, allowing them to live under a safe and carefree environment. This will then also help soothe the stress of the caregivers and families of the dementia patients in the long run. It is hoped that a friendly city can be built up according to the four "friendly" philosophies namely friendly residents, friendly institutions, friendly community and friendly collaborating partners.

During the stay in Plymouth, President Van and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Payne of Plymouth University signed a Memorandum of Understanding to extend exchanges of teachers and students as well as research collaborations between the two institutions. 

Members of the delegation also included Executive Officer of Education Department Professor Tsang Sau Mui Alice and Deputy Executive Officer of Extramural Studies Department Lei Wai In.