A foundation that will support victims of Alzeheimer's and the people who care for them was inaugurated yesterday by Gwen Kao Wong May-wan, wife of the city's best known sufferer of the disease. Named after Professor Charles Kao Kuen, the Nobel physics laureate, the Charles K. Kao Foundation for Alzheimer's Disease is a non-profit organisation chaired by Gwen Kao. The ceremony coincided with World Alzheimer's Day. The father of fibre optics was diagnosed with the disease in 2004. There was much coverage of his condition when he received the Nobel Prize last year, so the family decided to set up a foundation in Hong Kong, where the professor lived for many years. It received a HK$200,000 donation from Hongkong Post, which issued a definitive sheet of stamps of Kao in conjunction with the event. The post office also released a souvenir booklet with a sample of optical fibre attached inside. Kao had returned to the city with his wife from their home in San Francisco for the event but he did not show up yesterday. His wife said he had jet lag, and a lack of sleep sometimes made him bad-tempered. 'The disease is incurable and it will deteriorate. But Kao is in good spirits and he likes playing ping pong. He eats a lot of food and has got five pounds heavier, while I grow older and lose weight,' she joked. The foundation is looking into several projects to improve public education of the disease and to provide training for family members and caretakers in day centres, according to Dr William Lo Wing-yan, of the board of governors. Gwen Kao said there were not enough day centres to cater for Alzheimer's patients. While the government should provide more support to such centres, the foundation would help to train staff who have to take care of elderly patients. If patients stayed at home after visiting day centres, the government would not have to spent so much on homes for the elderly, she said. Another proposal is to set up a mobile station for the elderly, where they can be assessed for the possible onset of Alzheimer's. Kao said that if they were diagnosed at an earlier stage they could take medicines to delay their deterioration. The vice-chancellor of Chinese University, Professor Joseph Sung Jao-yiu, and vice-chancellor of the University of Hong Kong, Professor Tsui Lap-chee, are on the foundation's board of governors. The chief executive of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, Christine Fang Meng-sang, is on the advisory board.