Health & Ageing


Living with Dementia

by Brain Health Initiative 

Hong Kong Arts Centre Cinema
Hong Kong Arts Centre
2 Harbour Road
Wan Chai

Registration required

About the Event

17 April 2018

7 pm - 9 pm


Dementia is a syndrome in which there is deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities. Dementia has a significant physical, psychological, social, and economical impact, not only on people with dementia, but also on their carers, families and society at large.

Co-presented by Brain Health Initiative (BHI) and Dutch Days in Hong Kong, the second lecture in the series will focus on innovative care for dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and other related diseases and conditions.


In recent years there have been remarkable changes in the care of people with dementia. Those affected by dementia may remain at home for a longer period of time, therefore much support is now focused on their partners and caregivers. Large nursing homes are disappearing, while small-scale assisted housing facilities are on the rise. People are beginning to adopt an active attitude towards caring for people with dementia. Projects in the Netherlands involving dancing, singing, caring for animals and working with nature are advanced strategies and practices to engage with people with dementia. These strategies and practices have shown the promise of innovative care, and may replace regular nursing in the not so distant future.


In the spirit of fostering dialogues between Hong Kong and the Netherlands, lessons from the Netherlands will be discussed alongside those from Hong Kong in order to shed new insights into combatting dementia and related conditions that affect millions of people worldwide.

About the Speakers

Dr. Wai Chi Chan

Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Hong Kong

Dr. Wai Chi Chan is Clinical Associate Professor at the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Hong Kong and an honorary research fellow of Sau Po Centre on Ageing. He is currently the Chief Editor of East Asian Archives of Psychiatry and the President of Chinese Dementia Research Association. His research focuses on longitudinal follow-up of older persons to identify the predictors of neurocognitive disorders, prevalence and interventions of behavioural and psychological symptoms associated with neurocognitive disorders, caregiver burden and intervention, interventions for late-life depression and psychiatric epidemiology.

Mr. Freek Gillisen 

Nurse & Consultant, Vrije Universiteit Medical Center Alzheimer Centre

Freek Gillisen is a consultant psychiatric nurse and head of department at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Alzheimer Centre. He is a member of expertise groups at the European level, national level, and regional level. Since 1999, he is a member of North Sea Dementia Group, a European-level working group of experts and researchers in the field of counseling, support and care for and for people suffering from a form of dementia and their families. Since 2009, he is affiliated with Consultation and Expertise Centre for the Provinces of North Holland and Utrecht.


He is Board Adviser to Academentie Foundation, which focuses on the promotion of education for people working in the care and treatment for people and their system suffering from a form of dementia. He is recently involved in setting up a network for guidance and coaching of patients and family members who suffer from both Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD).


He is a member of the Fronto Temporal Dementia expert team, a group that serves all care providers to be consulted on specialist issues. In various capacities, he promoted education on Alzheimer’s disease to care professionals, specialists, caregivers, family members, and members of the community; spearheaded new initiatives and networks for knowledge dissemination; and advised policy makers about innovative approach to healthcare, counseling, and support. He was also instrumental in setting up the Alzheimer’s Café, now totalling 160 in the Netherlands, which brings together people dealing with dementia to share and learn about best practice of caring for people with dementia.

Prof. Johan Hoorn  

Researcher & Developer of Social Robotics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


Prof. Johan Hoorn is a researcher and developer of social robotics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He develops artificial intelligence, but also looks at the impact of robots on the user. In his experiment, a care robot visited elderly people, and the resulting documentary entitled “Alice Care” has struck up conversations on ageing issue all over the world. Under his leadership, co-designing social robots with academia, industry, arts, and civic partners took place. His research includes the study of creativity and virtuality to design emotionally intelligent agents, conversational artificial intelligence, and social robots.

About Brain Health Initiative 

Brain Health Initiative (BHI) was set up in Hong Kong in 2016 by a group of concerned individuals who wish to raise the awareness of dementia in the community, to share information, to promote brain health, and to offer support to those affected by dementia as well as their caregivers. BHI held the first forum in March 2016, and since then BHI have been hosting two forums every year.  The forum usually features an international speaker, e.g. a professor working in the relevant field from a reputable university and a local expert in the field of dementia, e.g. psychologist, geriatrician, psychiatrist, with a Q & A session following each talk.


BHI also runs coffee mornings every two to three months for dementia caregivers and interested individuals to share and exchange information on the conditions and symptoms, and to promote brain health. Visits to local elderly homes and activity or wellness centres are arranged to familiarise caregivers with these facilities.


BHI brings hope to the community by promoting brain health, supporting those who are affected by dementia and educating those who are interested in knowing about dementia.


Brain Health Initiative

Diana Chan     Patricia Chiu     Filan Chua     Gwen Kao     Bernard Kong     Emily Li     Dominica Yang