Home care team serves as a crucial service within the multidisciplinary team in local community. The unique service is especially important for patients who have no access to other community services due to many inhibiting factors for seeking help. The service conducted by professional AIDS care nurses, aims to improve PLHIV’s management of medication adherence, ability in self-care and awareness of the importance of risk reduction. The service will commence as soon as a referral has been received. The initial assessment will be conducted at patient’s home and service commenced in home hospital and AIDS clinic. Besides care renders to PLHIV, education on HIV/AIDS and support are provided to their care-givers.
This unique service assists the care-givers to alleviate anxieties regarding HIV/AIDS and how to care for the patient at home. Our home care nurses, through intensive contact, fill in the gap where hospitals and clinics cannot cater for needs of PLHIV outside clinic hours. For those who need urgent consultation and assistance outside office hours, a 24-hour emergency service is provided. From our previous experience, it has been proven that the service has helped many PLHIV to handle urgent needs outside clinic hours and is especially important for the newly diagnosed and those who have started new regimen of HAART.
The SAC home care service provides 7 major service scopes including:
1) Medication supervision and administration
2) Safer sex and risk reduction education
4) Emotional support
5) Psychosocial support
6) Bereavement counseling for care givers
7) Collaboration with other health care professionals
Those services are aiming at improvement of their health status and well beings. Each case is seen as an individual and after assessment, a treatment plan and goal set will be established in accordance to the different needs of the individual patient. The treatment plan will be conducted in different stages but normally will start from physical intervention aiming for the final community re-integration.
At the initial stage of intervention, the target includes drug supervision, health knowledge education, safer sex education and related plan according to the health condition of the patient. In addition, ample emotional support with frequently home and hospital visits encourages the patients to work towards achieving their goals.
The close collaboration of home care nurse team and our Day Care Centre team has witnessed many successful cases. Many PLHIV, including singleton and family cases, managed to build up good support networks with other members. These positive interactions help them with better life adjustment and better prepared them for community reintegration.
Regular phone contacts, face-to-face interviews and training were provided to maintain communication with PLHIV and to provide immediate assistance in need. 100% of service recipients indicated improvement in their drug adherence, health care and self-care knowledge. 100% expressed that the home care service supported both their psychological and physical well beings after receiving the service. This in turn helped them to improve their coping capacity for the HIV/AIDS disease. We are really happy to witness successful achievement of some cases. For example, some cases who were very sick and with poor prognosis and now managed to go through the rehabilitation process and hoping for a brighter future with the possibility of job retraining.
The SAC physiotherapy service has been commenced since 1999. We target on providing rehabilitative services to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) and their care-givers according to their physical problems and clinical presentations. Immediate and appropriate physiotherapy services can help PLHIV to maintain their mobility and decrease the occurrence of irreversible physical damage. Better physical mobility enables them to achieve better quality of life, live independently and to integrate to the community.
PLHIV usually complicate with various physical problems which may be caused by their immunodeficiency and toxicity of the therapy (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy, HAART) they received.
Peripheral neuropathy is one of the commonest diseases that may occur in this population. PLHIV who suffered from peripheral neuropathy may manifest different degree of sensory and motor deficits. Sensory deficits include hypersensitivity, absence of jerks, allodynia and paraesthesia, while motor deficits involve muscle weakness and atrophy as well as joint stiffness. Poor balance and gait problem would be shown subsequently. Besides, other systemic diseases, which maybe induced by HAART or related to HIV, like weaken lung function, lipodystrophy, high blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels, are generally confronted by PLHIV where the symptoms may not be shown instantly.
Last but not least, conditions such as osteonecrosis, various arthritis and tendinitis are also frequently reported by PLHIV. It implies that there is a strong need of physiotherapy interventions among our clients to help them alleviate those disabilities and impairments. The SAC physiotherapy service operates with a referral basis. SAC receives physiotherapy referrals from public hospitals and private general practitioners, as well as from the three HIV clinics in Hong Kong. Once a client was referred, the physiotherapist would then determine whether home-based or center-based physiotherapy interventions should be arranged. A tailor-made treatment plan and goal would be set for each client during the initial physical examination. SAC maintains good communications between SAC physiotherapy service and clinicians by providing progress reports to corresponding HIV clinics.
There are different training apparatuses and electrical modalities in SAC center which allows more varieties and choices for physiotherapy treatments. The decision of modalities use depends on the service recipient’s need and condition. Individual care plan and intervention will be reviewed and updated frequently to maximize their recovery.
A series of therapeutic groups will be held each year on both regular and irregular basis. A designated objective is assigned to each group, like core strengthening and cardiovascular training. Participants enjoy the time as all the groups are fun and energetic, they encourage each other during exercise, enabling good, supportive relationships.
SAC Center is a multi-integrated day care center for people living with HIV/ AIDS (PLHIV). It provides diverse therapeutic services conducted by professional staff to meet the different needs of PLHIV using multi-professional approach. The center serves as a path to full rehabilitation. Although numerous efforts have been placed to promote acceptance of PLHIV in Hong Kong, PLHIV still face discrimination and stigmatization in the community. The vivid discrimination leads to fear of disclosure of their HIV status and thus poses a lot of obstacles in seeking mainstream social service in the community.
The SAC center provides a non-judgmental and supportive environment for members to participate in different recreational and therapeutic programs. Facilitation of peer support programs is especially vital as service recipients are more willing to share their feelings with their peers in the same situation more readily. SAC also takes an active role in improving their physical and psychosocial well-being. Numerous targeted programs and goals set help PLHIV to prepare well before community reintegration.
Diverse targeted programs are implemented in the center to meet the different needs. All members agreed that the center programs, including both regular and special target programs, helped building up their social network. Members showed good sense of belonging towards the center and they were very keen to pick up different tasks. They learned different skills during the process and built up their capacities and therefore enhanced their self-esteem. They were also more willing to outreach to the public and promote acceptance on HIV/AIDS issues.
Constant exercise is an important foundation for maintaining a healthy body. SAC Centre has organized an Exercise Training Workshop to promote regular exercise habit. The workshop is conducted in the form of small groups with our physiotherapist's supervision to ensure the quality and participants' safety. The combined aerobic and muscles resistance training could improve the cardiopulmonary fitness and muscles performance among our participants. Their interest in participating in sports is also enhanced.
Autumn is coming and the weather turns cool, but SAC Center is filled with happiness and lively atmosphere. More than 20 members celebrated with whose birthday fall on October to December. Through small games and shared delicious snacks, our members meet up and chat together in a wonderful weekend.
As sponsored by DCH Auriga, the 4th health talk related to HIV treatment was held at SAC Centre on 13 October and the topic was "The Relationship between People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and Application of Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)". We are very appreciated to invite Dr. Heather To from Special Preventive Programme, Department of Health, to be our guest speaker again. In addition to explaining the current situation in use of PrEP, important guidelines in use and the pregnancy concern of sero-discordant couples in using PrEP, Dr. To particularly emphasized the importance of good medication adherence of PLHIV so that the virus could reach to an undetectable level. At present, the industry is actively promoting the message "Undetectable = Untransmittable". If an infected person can control the virus to an undetectable level, the chance of infecting others through sexual contact is almost to zero. Dr. To shared that in the long run, public health education will strengthen the message "U = U" to make the public more aware of positive message about AIDS and hence to eliminate misunderstandings and discrimination.
The annual Mid-Autumn Festival celebration of SAC Day Center was held on 1 September. This year, the theme of the celebration resembles the joy and vitality of a rabbit. Although the weather was not as good as we expected, it still did not compromise the enthusiasm of our members. More than 50 members gathered together to participate in the guessing riddles and lucky round Q&A booths arranged by volunteers. Lead by SAC staff, members practised laughter yoga as warm-up activities and enjoyed the games, performance and lucky draw afterwards. Finally, everyone talked and laughed while enjoying the food prepared by the center and sharing wonderful moment together. And for those who could not attend the celebration in persons, to share the joy of the festival, mooncakes and food items were delivered to their homes. We would like to give a big applause to Maxim's Group and our private donor for the generous donation of mooncakes, catering, gifts and lucky draw prizes to support our activity.
The summer weather is hot but still not as hot as the atmosphere in SAC Centre celebrating member’s birthday between July and September on 4 August. The members were very excited to participate in the event and sent blessings to the birthday stars in the party. The party was a good time for members to meet. Everyone enjoyed the snacks prepared by the center, talked and laughed, and had a beautiful weekend in summer.
As Sponsored by DCH Auriga, the 3rd health talk related to HIV treatment was held at SAC Centre on 4 August and the topic was “The Side Effect of Long Term Treatment and Coping Strategies”. SAC nurses introduced the mmon side effects including fat transfer, sensory defects, high blood cholesterol, sleeping problem and defect in liver and kidney function inducing on people living with HIV (PLHIV) on antiretroviral treatment. Through lecture and group discussion, members actively discussed their personal experience on dealing with the side effects and their coping strategies. Nurses shared the tips in coping skills and enhanced members’ knowledge in Q&A session.common side effects including fat transfer, sensory defects, high blood cholesterol, sleeping problem and defect in liver and kidney function inducing on people living with HIV (PLHIV) on antiretroviral treatment.mmon side effects including fat transfer, sensory defects, high blood cholesterol, sleeping problem and defect in liver and kidney function inducing on people living with HIV (PLHIV) on antiretroviral treatment. Through lecture and group discussion, members actively discussed their personal experience on dealing with the side effects and their coping strategies. Nurses shared the tips in coping skills and enhanced members’ knowledge in Q&A session.
SAC is pleased to invite Ms. Irene Chan, Medical Social Worker form Social Welfare Department, to introduce the latest development of elderly services in Hong Kong to our members on 17 July. With the advancement of HIV treatment, the number of elderly infected ...people is rising and the elderly service package is more important for PLHIV and their caregivers.
Regular volunteer involvements gave chance for our members to make use of their talents and skills to serve the community and as to enhance their self-image. Likewise, under the helping hands of our members, variety of work and center events came to success. In the sharing session, our members shared their experiences and feeling from volunteering. To appreciating their efforts, certificates and gifts were presented to outstanding volunteers in the ceremony.
A rice dumpling making session is organized at SAC Centre on 6 Jun, to celebrate Tuen Ng Festival. Healthy ingredients were specially used to raise their awareness to health diet, all members were satisfied with their home made rice dumplings.
Four volunteers from Morgan Stanley used their baking skills to help making loads of banana walnut muffins with our members on 1 June. These healthy and mouthwatering muffins are tailor-made for our members with secret recipe. With great team work, our center was filled with joy and the smell of delicious muffins. Volunteers and members tasted their muffins on the day and the rest will be distributed to other members to share love. The muffins were so tasty that they couldn’t stop eating!
Fitball (or gym ball) is a famous exercise to strengthen our core and limbs muscles. The relatively unstable surface of the ball stimulates our body to recruit our muscle without the need to increase the total load. Under the guidance of physiotherapist, SAC members learnt how to strengthen their muscles, enhance their trunk stability and improve body control.
A birthday party celebrating SAC members’ birthday between April and June was held on 5 May. Regardless of whether they are friends on the birthday of the month or not, everyone engage actively in games and tea together as well as sending greetings to each other. We wish everyone is happy and healthy all the time.
Sponsored by DCH Auriga, the 2nd health talk topic was ''The Advanced Development of HIV Treatment”. We are honored to invite Dr. Heather To from Special Preventive Programme, Department of Health, be our guest speaker. Dr To mentioned the local medical community has recently conducted the latest research on medication for eradication of HIV. It is still at an initial stage and further research and clinical trials are still required. It is believed that there will be progress in future. Members were encouraged to continue taking medicine and keep their bodies healthy. Dr. To also answered about the treatment-related issues including body fat transfer, the relationship between the infected person’s fragile body and cancer, and the reasons for the persistently low level of CD4 after regular medication. Members actively asked questions and they learnt more about it.
Sponsored by M‧A‧C AIDS Fund, it has started on 26th April. Everyone was absorbed in tutors’ briefing and dedicated to their creation. The process was full of laughing and happiness. Members besides created their own art piece, they learnt to appreciate and support each other. By assembling each person's creativity, members completed marvellous collective creation. Members without experience in painting stated that they had never thought that they could create their own works with simple dots, lines and circular patterns. Everyone is capable of becoming a circle painter.
With the sponsorship from Disney Community Involvement Program, SAC members and their families enjoyed a wonderful day in Disneyland. The weather was nice with breeze; they toured around in the magic land and took photos for every happy moment.
As sponsored by DCH Auriga, SAC Centre is going to organize a series of health talk related to HIV treatment in 2018 for our members. The first health talk, “Importance of medication adherence to HIV regime and coping strategies in maintaining medication adherence” was held on 3 February. Through presentation and group discussion, SAC nurse share the updated trend of HIV treatment, effect of drug resistance and the coping strategies for medication adherence with participants. Members actively participated in discussion and sharing, their knowledge and awareness on treatment adherence were enhanced.
At the beginning of 2018, a party for celebrating SAC members’ birthday between January and March was held on 3 February. Birthday is a joyful day representing hope and vitality. SAC members gathered together to share the happiness and mutual support with each other to fight against distress.
Under this cold weather, in order to share the blessing of Chinese New Year, SAC Centre prepared a “Poon Choi” lunch for members who are living alone on 1 February. SAC staff and members gathered together and enjoyed delicious “Poon Choi”. Also, before the meal, we made Tangyuan together wishing for completeness and happiness in the new year. Apart from delicious food, members had nice chit-chat surrounding by warmth and joy.
Chinese New Year is coming! In order to celebrate this Chinese traditional festival, SAC organized a Fai Chun Day on 30 January. SAC members use beautiful Chinese calligraphy and painting to create Fai Chun for Year of Dog. Our members and staffs joined together to make our best wishes for a healthy and happy new year through Fai Chun creation. Besides for decoration in SAC Centre, Fai Chun will be distributed to other members as to share our joy with them.
The oil painting workshop sponsored by the HSBC Hong Kong Community Partnership Programme has come to an end. At the very beginning, members were nervous and had difficulties in learning how to start the drawing, use the paint or express their ideas through the artwork. Through the process, they feel more relaxed and enjoy the painting process. Also, they can express their appreciation and support each other in class.
Under the sponsorship from HSBC Hong Kong Community Partnership Programme, a trip to Sai Kung Sharp Island and Lion Nature Education Centre has been organized by SAC to enjoy the natural beauty. Apart from enjoying the beauty of Tombolo, members could also learn about different types of rocks, historical development of Sai Kung Village, knowledge on environmental protection and ecology conservation. Most members expressed that they enjoyed the journey very much.
Before the end of 2017, it is the time for us to celebrate Christmas. Wishing our members to experience the joy from the festival, SAC organized the “Love Without Limit” Christmas Party sponsored by M•A•C AIDS Fund on 2nd December. Over 100 members felt excited and enjoyed a buffet lunch and lucky draw activity with their family. Meanwhile, members were encouraged to interact and share happiness with each other. All of us had a joyful and relaxed weekend.
Walking is a simple and effective exercise that promotes health and prevents illness. With the sponsorship by HSBC Hong Kong Community Partnership Program for the journey to Lamma Island, we have made it easier for our friends to experience the joys of hiking with relatively simple routes. In addition to physical benefits, we could also access to the natural beauty and taste authentic cuisine. The journey could also facilitate the understanding among members and expand their social life. Most of our clients enjoyed the journey very much and looked forward to the next event.
On 21st October, we organized a birthday party at SAC Center to celebrate members who born between October and December. To strengthen our members’ health knowledge, our nurse presented a health talk on syncope. We also prepared several group games to help our members familiar with each others and integrate new members into our big family. We all hope that our members’ birthday wishes will come true and live happily every day.
A health talk on “knee osteoarthritis” was organized in day center on 27 Sept and 16 members participated in the talk. The main content included signs and symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, management and treatment principles, information about knee replacement surgery and post-operative rehabilitation. Participants were very interested in this topic as knee osteoarthritis is a common age related problem. Many questions were raised during the talk and participants expressed that they learned more about the topic. Misconception was clarified and participants understood self-management and appropriate exercises are better long term strategies against knee osteoarthritis rather than rely on pain killer and surgery.
We are grateful to have our annul Mid-Autumn Festival party on 16 Sept. With the theme “Love‧Reunion”, our members, old and young, participated in this joyful event. More than 80 people gathered together enjoying the happy moment. They all felt beloved in the reunion, and made the busy center more energetic than usual weekdays. Rich programs and games have been prepared for our members, such as “Tops of Mid-Autumn”, “Dancing King performance”, “Big TV” and “Lucky Draw”. They enjoyed all programs and cheer for their teammates during the games and have great fun! Besides, festival games booths like “Riddle Guess” and “Lucky Wheel Games” have also been set up for our members. Delicious meals on hot plates were provided during dinner time. At the end of the event, members receive gift bag and festival food. We would like to give a big applause to Maxim's, Sunrise Charitable Education Fund and our private donor for the generous donation of mooncakes, catering, gifts and lucky draw prizes to support our activity. By witnessing the joy from our members, we all have a wonderful Mid-Autumn Festival party in SAC Centre. And for those who could not attend the celebration in persons, to share the joy of the festival, mooncakes and food items were delivered to their homes. See you next year!
(More activity photos)
Some members had experienced lost one or more times in their lifetime. In the class ‘I shoot my town’, Photography tutor helped members to understand their lives again in another eye. At the beginning, they chose their own respective photos and shared to others and sighed that printed photos are more realistic than digital ones. Next class, members will step out SAC Centre, lift up camera and make use of the techniques, so as to capture their own hometown!
On 5th Aug, our members joined the birthday party at SAC center to celebrate those who are born in July, August and September. A health talk has been specially organized to share health care knowledge. We also prepared several group games, which provide a platform for members to know each other and enlarge their social circle.
Around 30 members had joined our annual Sport Day on 22 Jul. Members split into 3 groups and take turns to participate in different sport games. Each game is specially designed for our members, integrated with different sport elements. By participating, members can stretch their body and strength their muscles. They have great fun and enjoy a lovely weekend!
Our social workers, nurse and members visited a farm last Sat. The representative introduced farm facilities to our members; and had a chance to make their own tasty bean curd custard. Our members also enjoyed a barbecue lunch and shared daily experience with others. They all had a joyful weekend!
Our members have lent us their helping hands with variety of work and participated in various events, which led to succeed of the events. In the sharing session on 17 May, they shared their experiences and feelings from volunteering and received certificates and gift as an appreciation for their efforts.
A big group of members gathered at SAC Day Center on 10 May to make rice dumplings and celebrate Tuen Ng Festival. Healthy ingredients were specially used to raise their awareness to healthy diet. Everyone tasted their own rice dumplings on the day while the rest of them will be distributed to other members who didn’t attend the activity to share the love.
On 22 Apr, our social workers, nurses and physiotherapist have spent a day with 40 members at the Hong Kong Disneyland Park. Although the weather was unstable, all of us still enjoyed the time being there, taking roller coaster, riding on merry-go-round and enjoying the shows. Thank you Hong Kong Disneyland Resort for sponsoring the tickets.