Due to the ageing population of the MSAR, there is a greater tendency in Macau for people with mental illnesses who are getting older to be taken care of by their parents who are already senior citizens, according to the Social Affairs Bureau.
Earlier, the bureau asked the Macao Polytechnic Institute (IPM) to conduct a survey on Macau’s services for mentally ill persons. In total, the institute surveyed 200 users of these services, 50 family members of users, and 50 workers providing the services.
The results showed that 60% of users are now being taken care of by their parents aged 60 years or above. On average, these individuals request the help of the services for four years. Eighty percent of individuals have no fixed job, and two-thirds are aware of their own illness.
Mentally ill individuals and their caretakers face financial, social, medical and housing-related difficulties.
Currently, there are 3,200 patients with disability certificates in Macau, including 440 people with autism and 410 with dementia. JZ