Dementia Community Support Scheme
With an ageing population in Hong Kong, it is not uncommon that more elderly persons are found to encounter cognitive, mood, psychological, behavioural or social skills problems, and the percentage of the elderly persons suffering from dementia has been on the rise. To meet the increasing public expectation and demand for dementia community support services, the Review Committee on Mental Health (Review Committee) chaired by the Secretary for Food and Health was set up in May 2013 to review the mental health services (including dementia support services) and published the Mental Health Review Report with a total of 40 recommendations made to enhance the services.
With reference to the preliminary recommendations of the Review Committee in the course of the review, the Food and Health Bureau in collaboration with the Social Welfare Department and the Hospital Authority (HA) launched a two-year pilot scheme named “Dementia Community Support Scheme” in February 2017. The pilot scheme was funded by the Community Care Fund and implemented based on a medical-social collaboration model to provide dementia community support services to elderly persons with mild or moderate dementia and their carers in the community through the participation of 20 District Elderly Community Centres (DECC) and four HA clusters.
The 2017 October Policy Address announced the regularisation of the Dementia Community Support Scheme and expansion to all 41 DECCs and seven HA clusters in the territory. With the Government’s recurrent allocation, the 20 DECCs and four HA clusters which participated in the pilot scheme continue to provide support services under the Dementia Community Support Scheme from February 2019 onwards (i.e. right after the end of the pilot period). The other 21 DECCs and three HA clusters join the Dementia Community Support Scheme from May 2019 onwards.