Benevolence Lights up my Later Life
"Benevolence Lights up My Later Life” is a systematic educational programme designed to deal with an ageing society. Since May 2011, the Programme has been phased in on five themes. They include: (1) the prevention and caring for dementia, (2) the handling of chronic diseases and hospice care, (3) healthy ageing and cross-generational bonding, (4) the spiritual need of the elderly and (5) the caring for the elderly in the community and nursery home. As part of the development of KWNC, the Programme began with ‘the prevention and caring for dementia’ advocating gerontogical care and love that is universal to humanity but especially valued in the Chinese culture, which is best illustrated by the Chinese saying, ‘extending the care for our senior family member to other elderly.’ It is our aim to make them live a dignified and hopeful life. The Programme promotes and puts into practice the idea of “ageing at home” as well as improves the quality of life of Macao citizens, which was advocated by the Macao Government. “Benevolence Lights up My Later Life” provides general and professional education of gerontology, including knowledge, skills, and values, to caregivers, medical personnel in gerontology, and professionals in the social welfare sector. At the same time, through international exchanges and cooperation, the Programme aims to nurture outstanding scholars in gerontology.
Rooted in the socio-cultural background of Macao and in line with the objectives of KWNC, the Programme is a comprehensive system and works with a multidisciplinary approach. It highlights the concept of positive ageing while evidence-based study is an essential part of its educational design and practice. The Programme is academically supported by the Nethersole School of Nursing, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Alzheimer's Disease Association (HKADA), and others. Further, the Programme is integrated with the teaching, curriculum and research of KWNC, so that the human resources and evidence support can be guaranteed.
Moreover, to get the Programme into full operation, KWNC partners up with community organizations such as General Union of Neighbourhood Associations of Macao, Macao Federation of Trade Unions, Caritas Macau, Macau Alzheimer's Disease Association (MADA), etc. and facilitates in the annual activities of different organizations. The prevention of dementia championed by “Benevolence Lights up My Later Life” has been listed as one of the priorities in the Policy Address of the Macao SAR Government for four consecutive years. The Programme is also sponsored by the Social Welfare Bureau and the Health Bureau of Macao. It has the following four sub-programmes:
1.The Public Training Programme
By the end of June 2017, a total of 40 public lectures and caregiver workshops have been launched under the cooperation of KWNC with four associations in Macao, attracting 2,262 citizens to attend and 18,399 people to browse the learning website. A total of 74 young students from nine tertiary and secondary schools as well as 27 older persons have been recruited in the "Benevolence Lights up my Later Life" Youth and Senior Ambassador Training Programme over the past two years. In addition to organizing 24 promotional activities which attracted 3,000 participants to attend, the Ambassadors have also completed the filming of a microfilm for dementia prevention promotion, commemorative publication and promotion booklet.
2. The Community Service Programme
With the initiation of the Programme in 2013, the Memory Clinic and dementia helpline have provided cognitive assessment to more than 170 older persons and offered support to 600 people through dementia helpline services by the end of June 2017. From the end of last year, assessors were deployed to provide cognitive screening in three local nursery homes to 257 older persons. Referral services and follow-up support were also offered based on the screening results. Besides, the programme has also provided Metatron Check-up / Health Regimen Consultation for 122 people with 9 finished research projects and 2 ongoing research projects.
3.The Scholar Nurture Programme
By the end of June 2017, a total of 4 teaching members have obtained the internationally-recognized professional qualifications entitling them to become cognitive assessors and certified dementia care planners; a total of 33 medical workers, social workers and therapists have completed the Certified Dementia Care Planner Course (CDCP); more than 100 participants have attended multiple training programmes for professionals; a total of 155 participants have passed the examination in Macao and the Pearl River Delta after the completion of two online training programmes for professionals; a total of 71 multidisciplinary scholars have conducted 17 study visits in Australia, Singapore, the UK, the US, Hong Kong, Taiwan, New Zealand and Japan.