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Palliative Care in Residential Care Homes for the Elderly Programme
Helps Ensure that Elderly Residents Enjoy Peace in Their Final Days
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How well you live is more important than how long you live. With funding from ”la Caixa” Foundation and The Bank of East Asia Charitable Foundation (BEA Foundation), The Salvation Army Hong Kong and Macau Command (The Salvation Army) has engaged 13 participating care homes in the Palliative Care in Residential Care Homes for the Elderly established in 2010 to provide end-of-life care for elderly residents, specifically those suffering from terminal illness. Elderly residents in the Programme can live the rest of their lives in a comfortable and familiar environment, surrounded by loved ones and cared for by familiar workers and healthcare professionals, who help relieve the pains and stress associated with terminal illness. 
 
Surrounded by Loved Ones during the Final Journey
 
Ms Lin Kan-hoi’s mother is one of the elderly residents who has participated in the Programme. In the past, Ms Lin and her mother grew very tired of the futile treatment Ms. Lin’s father endured as a patient suffering from terminal illness in hospital. When her mother learned there was an alternative for the elderly residents with terminal illness, she was very pleased to join the Programme. 
 
‘In the care home setting, elderly patients can enjoy more personalised care from a core team of medical professionals. The doctor and nurse of the Programme visited my mother on a regular basis and the staff of the care home closely monitored the condition of her health. When she was bedridden and had difficulty swallowing, nursing care was enhanced to reduce the risk of pneumonia. I stayed with my mother throughout her final days, cherishing every minute together in a private room,’ said Ms Lin.
 
Promoting End-of-life Care in Hong Kong’s Residential Homes
 
Since 2010, the Palliative Care in Residential Care Homes for the Elderly Programme has been dedicated to promoting palliative care in local residential homes. Achievements include the following:
  • 13 participating care homes provided end-of-life care to 224 elderly residents and more than 140 family members by the end of March 2017.
  • Published in 2015, the Palliative Care Practice Manual has become a reference work in developing palliative care services in residential care homes.
  • More than 7,500 people have been engaged through outreach activities to raise public awareness of the needs of elderly residents and their relatives regarding end-of-life care.
 
In the next three years, the Programme will further raise public awareness on end-of-life care through public education and develop caring networks in the community to put the concept of ‘Compassionate Community’ into practice.
 
Launching Ceremony for the Project Phase III cum Seminar on ‘Envisioning from Compassionate Teams to Compassionate Community’
 
Today (20 June 2017), the Programme organised a Launching Ceremony for the Project Phase III cum Seminar on ‘Envisioning from Compassionate Teams to Compassionate Community’. Officiating guests were namely Lieut-Colonel Ian Swan, Officer Commanding of The Salvation Army Hong Kong and Macau Command; Ms Mimi Kam, General Manager & Head of Human Resources & Corporate Communications Division, The Bank of East Asia, Limited and Director of the BEA Foundation and Dr Leong Che-hung, G.B.M., G.B.S., O.B.E., J.P., Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Palliative Care in Residential Care Homes for the Elderly Programme.
 
‘Apart from providing financial support, ”la Caixa” Foundation and the BEA Foundation have been invaluable partners in the sharing of knowledge and resources for the development of the Programme. Thanks to ”la Caixa” Foundation, which has shared its expertise in the development of palliative care services in Spain, we have developed an excellent model of palliative care for elderly residents in Hong Kong,’ said Lieut-Colonel Ian Swan.
 
‘We at the BEA Foundation are pleased that the Programme has contributed to the development of palliative care in Hong Kong. Through the dedication and collaboration of The Salvation Army, participating homes, district hospitals, and others, I am confident that the Programme will continue to support a growing number of people in our community in the years to come,’ said Ms Mimi Kam.
 
During the Seminar, Dr Edward Leung Man-fuk , President, Hong Kong Association of Gerontology, and Dr Vivian Lou Wei-qun , Director, Sau Po Centre of Ageing, The University of Hong Kong presented two study reports on facility availability for developing palliative care and end-of-life care in residential care homes and a systematic and guided model for front-line social workers to support elderly residents and their relatives in psycho-social and spiritual aspects respectively.
 
About Palliative Care and Resident Care Homes for the Elderly
 
With funding support from ”la Caixa” Foundation and The Bank of East Asia Charitable Foundation, The Salvation Army Hong Kong and Macau Command has promoted palliative care and end-of-life care in 13 participating residential care homes since 2010, providing an alternative end-of-life choice for elderly residents, strengthening interaction and collaboration between the medical sector and residential care homes, optimising service operations, raising public awareness and accumulating knowledge and experience to advocate the incorporation of end-of-life care into routine services.
In Phase III, the Programme...
Dr Vivian Lou Wei-qun (2nd ...
Dr Edward Leung Man-fuk sha...
Ms Lin Kan-hoi's mother is ...