The story appears on

Page A4

September 22, 2020

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro

New trial of ‘friendly communities’ for seniors with mental problems

Shanghai will trial a second batch of “friendly communities” for senior citizens with cognitive disorders after the success of the first, the city’s civil affairs authorities said yesterday — World Alzheimer’s Day.

Mandatory standards for building such communities in Shanghai and most subdistricts and towns will be released in 2025, the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau said.

The first trial of friendly communities in 28 subdistricts and towns began a year ago.

The trials will last three years for each batch.

Funding of 9.1 million yuan (US$1.34 million) has been earmarked so far.

Twenty-seven subdistricts and towns in the scheme have established support centers totaling more than 8,000 square meters to create a friendly environment for seniors — those over 60 — with mental issues.

“Medical treatment plays a role, but it is also important to create a proper and comfortable environment for these seniors,” said Chen Yuebin, director of the senior work department at the bureau.

The centers use signs with bright colors that are easy to read and senior-friendly facilities.

“Many seniors and their families are not aware of cognitive disorders, ignoring early signs, until seniors show behavior such as getting lost or even hurting others, which makes them miss the golden time of intervention to delay the dementia process in many cases,” said Chen.

“Professional training can delay the development of cognitive disorders and lift seniors’ living quality.”

Senior-care workers say there has been an increasing number of seniors with mild and moderate levels of cognitive disorders they serve under the scheme.

The subdistricts and towns have introduced non-medical interventions such as music and art therapies based on the cognitive disorder level and habits of senior citizens.

Training in memory, language, logic, sensation and perception, and limb control can delay the worsening of the condition, promote seniors’ social intercourse and keep them healthy psychologically, the bureau said.

Training and psychological support are provided for families who have remembers with dementia or other disorders to ease their pressure and equip them with the skills needed to take care of them.

“Many seniors with dementia and their families have a sense of shame due to misunderstandings and prejudice, and these communities are disseminating information on dementia to raise awareness among residents,” said Chen.

“Making people aware of cognitive disorders is important to eliminate such misunderstandings, and a friendly atmosphere is among the evaluation criteria of the trial.”

Information program are conducted at these subdistricts and towns to help the public be more empathetic and sympathetic to these seniors.

Despite the progress, there are still problems.

The abilities of social organizations providing services vary.

More than 35 percent of Shanghai’s permanent population are over 60.

It is estimated that about 300,000 people in the city suffer from dementia and other cognitive disorders and the figure is rising.

“Shanghai has a huge population of seniors with cognitive disorders, and we are calling for more attention and care for this group of people,” said Chen.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend