Dementia Community Support Scheme
As at end 2016, around 23% (around 1.67 million) of the total population in Hong Kong was people aged 60 or above. It is projected that by 2041, about one-third of the population will be elderly persons. 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, an Expert Group on Dementia (Expert Group) was set up, under the Review Committee on Mental Health (Review Committee) chaired by the Secretary for Food and Health, to review the existing services and make recommendations to the Review Committee for the enhancement of services.
With reference to the recommendations of the Expert Group, the Chief Executive announced in the 2016 Policy Address to launch a two-year pilot scheme through a medical-social collaboration model to provide dementia community support services in District Elderly Community Centres. The Food and Health Bureau (FHB) set up a Task Force in early 2016 consisting of representatives from FHB, the Social Welfare Department, the Hospital Authority and its clusters, as well as non-governmental organisations to formulate and implement the two-year pilot scheme named “Dementia Community Support Scheme”.
The Commission on Poverty approved to fund the pilot scheme by the Community Care Fund at its meeting on 31 August 2016. The pilot period of the “Dementia Community Support Scheme” is from February 2017 to January 2019. Subject to the number of suitable cases and the number of elderly persons agreeing to participate, it is expected that the pilot scheme will be able to benefit about 2 000 elderly persons.