Use of technology in dementia care EJINSIGHT

ByThomas L. Elston

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Image: Jockey Club Centre for Positive Ageing

As the international inhabitants continues ageing, there are much more and a lot more individuals struggling from Alzheimer’s disease (Ad, or dementia). According to an Alzheimer’s Disorder Worldwide (ADI) report in 2019, it is approximated that above 50 million people today throughout the world have dementia, and just about every 3 seconds, anyone in the globe develops dementia . Consequently, it is expected to surge to 150 million individuals by 2050.

In accordance to the Hospital Authority in 2017, the prevalence premiums of dementia in Hong Kong is estimated to be at 5%-8% amongst folks aged in excess of 65, and at 20%-30% among these aged about 80. Inferring from this, as several as 100,000 individuals are struggling from dementia in Hong Kong, and the variety is raising calendar year-on-calendar year. A different educational research printed in 2012 estimated that about 333,000 would be struggling from dementia by 2039 in the city.

So much, there is no heal for the disorder. The health-related occupation normally thinks that early analysis and procedure can defer worsening of it. Having reported that, it is hard to detect early indications of dementia, which usually delays therapy. A the latest research by CUHK’s Faculty of Drugs confirmed that mind magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) driven by synthetic intelligence (AI) can detect early cognitive impairment illnesses. The analyze confirmed that sensitivity in the detection of moderate Advertisement was 92%, which was 25% increased as in contrast with visual inspection.

People with dementia will gradually get rid of their cognitive capability. Their want of being taken treatment of in everyday lifetime, which adds psychological strain to the caregivers. A single of the worst nightmares of carers is the lacking of sufferers. A research interviewed 576 carers for persons with dementia by online questionnaire in 2021 identified that additional than 30% of the respondents experienced seasoned shedding their sufferers, though in excess of 80% of them fearful about the recurrence of clients lacking. Therefore, 40% of caregivers forbid the people to go out by itself. To help recovering lacking family members, extra than 30% of carers would use units with electronic monitoring features.

Various organisations have explored remedies with highly developed technological innovation for the difficulty. One of the illustrations is the joint endeavours of the Jockey Club, St. James’ Settlement and the Hong Kong College of Science and Technological innovation began the Caring Communities for Dementia Campaign. Introduced in 2019, an app Dementia’s Top secret Angel enables spouse and children members and caregivers of people with dementia who are shed to share critical information. The application also encourages the community to enable locate these lacking people through bluetooth automatic detection as soon as getting a lost-person report. In scenario the lacking elder is in a Key Angel’s proximity, the bluetooth can send out the site data to the relatives users anonymously to reduce the lookup work.

In her e book Wellness and Longevity: An Empirical Analyze in Hong Kong, Dr. Karen Siu Lan Cheung, who is devoted to boosting the conventional of aged services as a result of gerontology exploration, pointed out that it is crucial to advertise an aged-friendly and supporting local community, these types of as enhancing community facilities, from housing, outdoor services to transportation, to persuade the aged to have an energetic social lifestyle.

To reach these plans, we want extra assets and supporting guidelines to meet up with the demands of an ageing society, specially for dementia sufferers and caregivers. At the exact same time, the standard general public need to care extra about the elders in their neighbourhood to present the spirit of mutual assist and really like, so that we can construct a caring and inclusive society together.

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Dr. Winnie Tang&#13

Adjunct Professor, Section of Pc Science, College of Engineering Office of Geography, School of Social Sciences and Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong


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