Lingnan University (LU)’s School of Graduate Studies worked with The Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council (NAAC) – Fu Tai Neighbourhood Elderly Centre and LU’s Jockey Club Gerontechnology and Smart Ageing in Place Project (GTSA) teams to conduct the Experiential Learning cum Service Day on 12 April. About 100 students from Master of Science in Health Analytics (HAM) and Management and Master of Social Sciences in Health Services Management (MHSM) supported visiting older adults in Tuen Mun and conducting the Hong Kong Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) to screen persons with cognitive impairment. It also offers the opportunity for the Master programme students to promote well-being and gerontechnology promotion to the community.
The centre supervisor, Mr. Keyman KWONG from NAAC, conducted the HK-MoCA training for the students before they attended the home visit services. Students were trained to acquire professional skills using those screening tools before the services. In the afternoon, students and LU staff formed teams to visit older adults' homes, transferring skills and knowledge through real practice. Mr. KWONG expressed that the voluntary work provided by the LU team has advanced the centre’s operation and services:"It is a great pleasure to collaborate for this service. I was impressed by the students' enthusiasm and passion for service. They were willing to communicate with the older adults in Cantonese, although some students who participated were not good at speaking Cantonese, which broke the language barrier. At the same time, some students came to me after the visits and shared their observations on older adults. Some students also made suggestions for improving assessments. Students also assisted the centre in conducting a preliminary cognitive screening, which made a good preparation for advancing the centre's services. It can be seen that the activities of the day fully achieved the spirit of cooperation between the community and the academy to co-build an age-friendly community.”
Miss Connie MUI Siu Ching, a student from HAM shared: “In this event, we went to the homes of older people for visits and conducted the MoCA test. The visit was closely linked to our subject-related knowledge of health analyst management, such as managing service users and stakeholders, centre-elderly relationships and neighbourhood relations, and applied health psychology in social service settings. This activity gave me a deep insight into the impact that the health and well-being of older people has on society as a whole. They are often faced with physical and psychological challenges, and there are many ways in which we can look after their health and well-being. It is essential to design and implement wellness programmes to give older people better access to healthcare and social support and to reduce social isolation.”
Mr. LIU Jiapeng, a student from Management and Master of Social Sciences in Health Services Management (MHSM) and his team also introduced gerontechnology to the older people in the home visit services. He also expressed his understanding towards the gerontechnology application in different services: “I have obtained gerontech-related knowledge as I participated in the gerontechnology training course from LU's GTSA. I found that most of the gerontech products are very interesting and interactive. I brought the mobile application to the older adults’ homes. The application was easy to follow and allowed older users to dance and exercise at home. It was an exciting hands-on experience that deepened my understanding of health and social services programs.”