Jed A. Levine
President & CEO
Spring is here at last! What a pleasure to feel the sun on my face, to take long walks and to watch the tulips and daffodils bloom. Nature has the power to heal and restore us and no one needs this more than dedicated and hardworking dementia caregivers. If you are caring for someone with dementia, I hope you can take some time to enjoy our city’s beautiful parks and gardens. You can also expand on this experience by participating in CaringKind programs offered in partnership with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the New York Botanical Garden.”In January, I experienced nature in a different setting when I visited Shenzhen, China at the invitation of the Shenzhen Mental Health Center and Shenzhen Kangning Psychiatric Hospital. I was joined by Weijing Shi, our Chinese and Queens Outreach Manager, Mei-Guey Jan, our Queens Outreach Manager and Dementia Care Trainer, and Ann Wyatt, our Palliative and Residential Care Consultant. Over 150 Chinese healthcare professionals heard presentations about CaringKind’s model of care and support.
The program took place in an indoor conference center. By the weekend, I was starving for sunlight and exercise and took off for the Mangrove Coastal Ecological Park. I was soon restored by walking along the water, looking at Hong Kong across the bay and watching families strolling together. The coconut palms, mango and mangrove trees provided a much-needed respite from the bustle and traffic of urban Shenzhen.
Returning home, I better understood China’s need for caregiving resources. Today, there are 5.8 million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia and an additional 487,000 diagnosed annually. By comparison, there are 9.5 million Chinese who have been diagnosed, a population growing by 1 million each year. China is facing a profound health care challenge.
It was difficult to fully grasp the complex Chinese long-term care system. But I had the sense that health care professionals were working hard to initiate a comprehensive system of care. They were eager for CaringKind’s information and the opportunity to learn a practical approach to care and support that would acknowledge the needs of the person with dementia and the caregiver.
I want to recognize Dr. Tie Bang Liu, Director of Kangning Psychiatric Hospital, for his vision and commitment to improving the lives of persons with dementia and their families.
My visit reinforced the message that Alzheimer’s is truly a global issue and that caregivers, wherever they are, need support, resources, programs and services. Fortunately, all New Yorkers have these available by calling CaringKind’s Helpline at 646-744-2900 for information, guidance and support. New Yorkers do not have to face the challenge of dementia caregiving alone. We are here for you.
P.S. Please support our Spring Campaign
P.P.S. We expanded our relationship to the Chinese community on both sides of the world. On March 14th, CaringKind was proud to be the beneficiary of the annual Mei-Hua Society Gala Banquet.