Six Arts Programme

Partnering Organization

Hong Kong Alzheimer’s Disease Association (HKADA)

Project Period

Sept 2013 – August 2014 (Phase 1)

July 2016 – December 2017 (Phase 2)

Target Group

Elders with early dementia (Phase 1)

Elders with early dementia, staff and senior volunteers of NGO partners (Phase 2)


HKADA Sheung Wan centre and 4 NGO partners in Central & Western district (Phase 1)

9 NGO partners in Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories (Phase 2)

About Six Arts

The Six Arts programme is a framework of holistic brain health training/activities for people with dementia, specially tailored for the local Hong Kong community. Designed by multi-disciplinary experts, it draws on the traditional Chinese “Six Arts” framework, namely: Rites, Music, Archery, Charioteering, Literacy and Numeracy

The programme engages elders with fun, theme-based activities like music, calligraphy, board games and Tai Chi, helping them maintain normal functioning and delay cognitive decline.

How it works

Project phases

Phase 1 – Piloting the 6 Arts programme

The HKADA adapted the traditional Chinese Six Arts for people with early dementia and developed a unique board game to be played as part of the activities. 30 seniors with early dementia received 24 weekly sessions of Six Arts group activities led by a professional trainer.


In phase 1, a study was conducted by Dr Gloria Wong from the University of Hong Kong to investigate the effects of the Six Arts. The results showed benefits to the cognitive functioning and quality of life for elders with early dementia.

Phase 2 – Scaling the programme and building the network

This involves training sessions to teach NGO staff and senior volunteers how to implement Six Arts in their own facilities and communities.  In addition, 2 series of Six Arts intervention activities will also be held for elders with early dementia.



Project components (Phase 2)

  • 1 training workshop for 50 NGO staff
  • 18-24 staff from 9 NGOs to be trained as “Six Arts Programme Planners”
  • 2 series Six Arts intervention activities to 100 elders with early dementia
  • 1 series training to elderly volunteers
  • 1 series on-site consultation and phone consultation to staff
  • 1 series post-programme review and refresher training to staff
  • 1 set of specially-designed Six Arts board game and manual

Post-training questionnaire, activity design assessment and on-site observation will be conducted to examine the effectiveness of Six Arts training and implementation.


Six-Arts can:

  • Enhance brain health
  • Defer cognitive decline
  • Delay the onset of dementia
  • Improve quality of life


“We understand more of the needs and strengths of individual elders with early dementia. The training heightened our sensitivity to the various needs of the elderly. Furthermore, the Six Arts provides a brand new framework for us to design integrative activities which can encourage their participation and promote their initiation.”

Ms Lee Hui, social worker, Tuen Mun NEC

“Six Arts changes my impression toward dementia activities and groups. I found that there are many ways of implementation and they can be interesting. Six Arts take meaningful activities as the entry point, so my service unit can adapt the concept and integrate in existing activities with different pace and in different ways. Our elders enjoy their personal interests and at the same time, with cognitive stimulation. ”

Ms Hui, social worker, Cheung Chau NEC

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