#Hashtag Hong Kong



    Listen to #Hashtag Hong Kong every Sunday morning at 8.15

    Focussing on issues affecting civil society, we'll hear from representatives of NGOs, associations, statutory bodies, and non-profit groups.

    (Sundays 8.15am - 8.25am)



    Maggie Lee, Executive Director of Hong Kong Alzheimer's Disease Association

    “File does not exist” …….

    “This file is corrupted and cannot be opened” …….

    These may be common problems in our daily computer use.

    Then how about the brains of people with dementia? Memory and the files in their brain are always broken and difficult to recall.


    Dementia is a degenerative disease of the brain. The deterioration usually starts very slowly, being forgetful at first. Eventually, it can develop into obvious memory loss, inability to self-care, being lost, not recognising loved ones and forgetting important moments in life.

     “Who are you?”, “Where am I?” are heartbreaking questions but repeated by people with dementia at every moment. Please remember, Dementia is not normal ageing, but a disease that causes memories to fade from the recent to distant past.


    In Hong Kong, about 10% of people over the age of 65 live with dementia, and over the age of 85 is as high as one-third. We all know that Hong Kong is facing an ageing population and the prevalence of dementia will sharply increase. There are currently about hundred and fifty thousand people living with dementia in Hong Kong. The number will double in the next 15 years. However, is Hong Kong ready for the silver tsunami?


    The development of a comprehensive plan for dementia care by our policymakers would be the crucial way out for our future. Countries or cities around us, such as China, Macau, Singapore, and Japan, have already developed national plans to prepare society for the challenges. But we are still in its infancy.


    “Never too Early, Never too Late” is the theme of World Alzheimer’s Month this year. We aim to arouse everyone’s importance on risk reduction in delaying and potentially preventing the onset of dementia. I think policy planning should also be “never too early, never too late”, We need to take action before family caregivers, and our health and social care systems collapse.


    Different interventions are effective in dementia management. It is imperative to grasp the golden opportunity in the earliest stage. Unfortunately, the diagnostic rate of dementia has remained at only 10% for the past few decades. That means the majority of the people living with dementia are still without proper interventions and support.



    Memory problems in the early stage can easily be mistaken as signs of normal ageing. Neither the people with dementia nor their families and friends realize it until more obvious problems happen in their daily lives.  Moreover, family size in Hong Kong is getting smaller and there are more and more childless couples, early symptoms may go unnoticed if people do not interact closely in day-to-day life.


    Public education to increase awareness of early signs of dementia, easily accessible diagnostic services, and shorten waiting time, all of these should be put into action.


    Dementia is referred to as the “long goodbye”, our beloved seems to be becoming a stranger slowly. In my 20 years of walking with families, I know too well how frustrating it can be when a loved one has dementia. But I keep encouraging the families to appreciate what our beloved can still do and remember, and try to keep them for as long as possible. We may worry about the next deterioration coming, but while waiting for the future, what deserves more attention is the current him/her.


    If you or your beloved are living with dementia, don’t give up. Drugs can help. Different brain-stimulating activities and caring techniques can ease the symptoms or slow down the deterioration. Equipment and technology can help to make life easier. We are here to walk through it with you. You are not alone, just let us know.


    If you are healthy, congratulations, but remember “Never too early, Never too late”, take actions to reduce the risk factors of dementia. A healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, healthy and balanced diet, stay mentally and socially active. All these can help. Please remember to use and keep your brain active or you will lose it.


    September is World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign initiated by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) to raise awareness and remove the stigma of dementia. As the sole member of ADI in Hong Kong, we invite you to join us in caring about the brain health of your families, neighbours and friends, supporting those living with dementia around you and seeing if we can help.


    Finally, I’d like to dedicate the song “I'm Not Gonna Miss You” by Glen Campbell to all people with dementia and their caregivers. The disease may take the memory, but not of the love you share and cherish.

    17/09/2023 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    17/09/2023 - Maggie Lee, Executive Director of Hong Kong Alzheimer's Disease Association


    07 - 09


    Maggie Lee, Executive Director of Hong Kong Alzheimer's Disease Association


    Vincent Ng, Executive Director of Suicide Prevention Services


    Marine Thomas, Senior Conservation program Manager at Nature Conservancy Hong Kong


    Joyce Chan , a volunteer at House of Joy and Mercy


    Kylie Lai, Programme Officer, CarbonCare InnoLab


    Ivan Lam, manager of Hong Kong PHAB Association


    Stephanie Ng, founder of Body Banter


    Amanda Lau, board governor of Music Children Foundation


    Cindy Chau, Project Executive, Chu Kong Plan


    Hugo Chu, member of Healing Parks

    Joyce Fung, co-founder of Free Periods Hong Kong

    Period poverty is a social issue that is gaining increasing attention worldwide, but not something new. Generally, “period poverty” refers to the phenomenon where someone is lacking access to menstrual products, safe and hygienic spaces to handle periods, and the fundamental right to manage their menstruation with dignity without unnecessary shame and taboo.

    One might doubt whether period poverty actually exists in a highly modernised city like Hong Kong, and indeed it is a question we are always asked. Surely, period poverty here may not be as extreme as some other places, but there are plenty of aspects we are lagging behind. At Free Periods Hong Kong, we define period poverty as a threefold issue: a lack of sufficient and quality products and a lack of knowledge or misconceptions about menstruation caused by the shaming of period and a society that is not period-friendly.

    According to our estimation, the basic cost of one cycle’s worth of period product is equivalent to one pack of 5kg rice, which is around $60-70. Imagine a grassroots family with more than one person who menstruates, or with the need to use more expensive products due to various reasons, for example a heavier flow or skin allergy? A survey we have conducted shows that a striking 42% of respondents have tried saving money by not changing menstrual pads even when it is fully soaked or have been used for more than 4 hours. 27% of respondents would cut expenses on menstrual products for other expenses, mostly for food and childcare. We have heard the story of a secondary school girl in Hong Kong who said she would use each pad for at least 8 hours, and would cover the pads with toilet paper so that she doesn’t have to spend so much on pads. Stories like this are happening every day. Low-income women in Hong Kong are pressured financially to restrict their use or choice of menstrual products, or even skipping school because there’s insufficient products to prevent leakage in public. These all lead to mental stress and health threats, and hindrance to long-term personal development.


    Aside from financial poverty, many in Hong Kong are affected by menstrual stigma, sometimes unknowingly. Many small things in daily life such as incomplete menstrual education, mainstream view of period blood as dirty and unlucky, and the association of menstruation with temper tantrum all contribute in making menstruation an unpleasant part of life. With the conventional belief of menstruation being unpleasant and not to be spoken of, it is essentially creating an environment where menstrual needs are dismissed rather than assisted. Worse, these often cause people to neglect the bodily signs of extreme pain or severe mood swings because they are dismissed as PMS, while there could be underlying health issues. This unspoken culture of menstruation is precisely why it is difficult for people to seek help on period-related issues in the workplace, schools, and medical settings. Menstrual leave is almost unheard of, very few employers offer access to menstrual products in the workplace. There are doctors who tell patients that their pain is “normal”, that it is just dysmenorrhea, that “pain is subjective”. Too often, we are told that menstruation is “your own problem”, not society’s problem, but people never choose to menstruate. It is an issue of basic human rights and dignity.

    One of the more sustainable solutions is to create a comprehensive menstrual education kit that addresses menstruation positively and informatively. Currently, many of these are done as disguised product promotions, and often only provided for girls. However, menstrual education should be provided to everyone regardless of gender if we want to curate a world that is equipped with knowledge and understanding, both the foundation that can help dispel the lurking shaming and stigma of menstruation. In such, society can hopefully address the issue as they are and treat period poverty seriously, where the mental and physical aspect can be alleviated and the financial hardship can be acknowledged.

    Every 28 May, the Menstrual Hygiene Day is celebrated worldwide to raise awareness of menstrual hygiene and period poverty. This May, we are delighted to have joint hands with our lead sponsor Hactl and co-organiser Onebite to organise the Be My Buddy Buddy Exhibition. The 4-day event will kickstart on 25 May. We will provide lively and interesting menstrual knowledge and multiple perspectives for you to understand menstruation, so you will no longer feel embarrassed discussing the issue. In addition to the exhibition, we have organised multiple talks and activities related to menstruation, allowing everyone, regardless or sex and gender, to gain a deeper understanding of the issue. Come and join us as a period pal and work together for menstrual equity!


    28/05/2023 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    28/05/2023 - Joyce Fung, co-founder of Free Periods Hong Kong