Professor Marvin Formosa and Professor Charles Scerri, both of whom are University of Malta academics, are making headway internationally by spreading awareness about two issues of global concern, ageing and dementia, more particularly within the Chinese community of Hainan.
Hainan is a province and island in southernmost China with a predominantly rural population, and a rapid urbanisation process that has been taking place since the 1990s. As at 2018, 287,700 residents of the 9 million inhabitants were over 80 years of age. An astounding 1,900 of these are centenarians. It comes as no surprise, then, that this province has officially been declared as a World Longevity Island by the International Expert Committee on Population Aging and Longevity (ISCPAL).
During their attendance at the World Longevity Conference, which took place on the island for the first time ever late last year, they collectively delivered two keynote papers, one focusing on ‘Long Term Care for older persons in China’ and a second one titled ‘Dementia: Current & Future Challenges’.
They also advised Hainan authorities to draft policies for active ageing and dementia, as they strongly believe that 'long, healthy lives can only be sustained when suitable services are offered in a structured manner to every resident. Furthermore, training programmes offered within this structure would ensure the timely care for the elderly within this community.'
More information about the latest contributions by members of the Department of Gerontology & Dementia can be found on the website and Facebook page.