Mang’s Story

Categories: Living with Dementia|By |Published On: |

Photography by Jared Sych.

Photography by Jared Sych.

Mang Q. Chan was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to Canada with his wife and four children in 1980. His aptitude for planning, numbers and human resources helped him thrive in his career as a business leader both in China and in Canada.

Chan, now 94, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014. He and his wife, Sau Hing Chan, have been married for more than 70 years and are looking to move to a care facility where Chan can receive care for his dementia. His condition has progressed over the last year and he stays close by his wife’s side. He enjoys reading newspaper headlines, going out for coffee and attending the Wing Kei Care Centre’s Adult Day Program.

I especially appreciate when I feel cared for and am given the opportunity to participate in regular activities.

I was born in Hong Kong. My wife and I married in 1945 and had four children in China before the family immigrated to Canada in 1980. Taking care of my family has always been extremely important to me.

With a career in business management, I was a strong strategic thinker, very good with numbers and at managing people. This thinking mindset is what made it so hard for me when I first started to lose my thoughts about five years ago. I was becoming forgetful, having trouble with directions and repeating myself.

It felt like I was walking around with a cloud over my head. This really scared me as I was always a planner and a thinker, taking care of everything for my wife. I began to worry about what would happen to us.

My wife took me to the doctor, and I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. I take medication to help slow the progression of symptoms but they have worsened in the last year. Sometimes this gets me depressed. My daughter helps get my spirits up when this happens. She reminds me that everything and everyone is being cared for. It is reassuring when I know what the plan is and that my family is taken care of. Being with my wife also brings me great comfort.

My wife and I live in a seniors’ residence in Chinatown where we have been for the last 15 years. We always enjoyed helping others in the Chinese community and were involved in volunteer organizations that I helped manage.

Now, I like to do things to keep my mind sharp. I come to the Wing Kei Care Centre’s Adult Day Program twice a week. I enjoy doing puzzles. I like to read and do math competitions with my wife—sometimes I even win! I especially appreciate when I feel cared for and am given the opportunity to participate in regular activities. My favourite thing is going out for coffee with my wife and daughter. [ ]

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