Milestones of HKACS – Jockey Club “Walking Hand-in-Hand” Cancer Family Support Project
Cancer affects thousands of families. At present, cancer treatments are mostly carried out in the day centre, which focuses on dealing with the patients’ physical symptoms. The patients' emotions or psycho-social concerns are often overlooked or incapable to handle due to constraints in time and manpower. The patients need to return home after receiving the day treatment in the hospital, and the responsibility of caring for them falls on the family members, putting them under a great deal of pressure. The patients and their families lack continuous community support during this period, and often left them feeling flustered.
In view of this, the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society launched the “Walking Hand-in-Hand” Cancer Family Support Project in 2011. A team of registered nurses and social workers visited patients and their caregivers at home, telephoned them to offer nutritional and nursing tips as well as psychological support. Regular local support meetings and family outings were organised to encourage self-help and family bonding. Referrals for professional consultation such as Chinese Medicine, physiotherapy or psychology, and tangible assistance such as home cleaning and escort services or charity programmes were made whenever needed.
The Project gained favourable feedbacks from clients and positive outcomes in evaluation study. We are grateful to the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust for their funding since 2015 that we have been able to expand and enrich our services to benefit many more cancer families.
We are privileged to have the Christian Family Service Centre as our first strategic partner in 2015 and Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Charity Foundation is our second strategic partner in 2018 to establish the Kwun Tong Centre and Tai Po Centre. We look forward to further enhancing the working synergy among our 3 organisations.
We are increasingly convinced that the patient-centred, family-based and community-outreach support model provided by the Project is able to fill the service gap in the existing medical-dominated healthcare system. We are deeply appreciated that the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust has extended their support to the Project for three more years till August 2021.
*WHIH: Walking Hand-in-Hand Cancer Family Support Project
*HKU: The University of Hong Kong
*UICC: International Union for Cancer Control