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Elderly Care

Hong Kong - Elderly Care

The government offers a range of social services and programs for the elderly of Hong Kong. Some of these include Social Security, Community Care and Support Services, and Residential Care Services. In the Community Care and Support Services, there are District Elderly Community Centers and Neighborhood Elderly centers. These offer counseling, meals, outreach programs, networking, and personal development opportunities.

In recent years, there has been an importance on home-based care for the elderly with the understanding that senior citizens are more content when they are able to stay in a familiar environment as long as possible. As a result, there are more and more outreach programs that are aimed at offering support both in and out of the home. Social Centers for the Elderly offer recreational activities. The Social Centers provide the elderly with opportunities to build social networks and participate in activities that are personally fulfilling. For those who are physically weak, the Day Care Centers/Units for the Elderly and Enhanced Home and Community Care Services and Integrated Home Care Services have both center-based and home-based community care services.

Residential Care Homes for the Elderly do exist in Hong Kong. At these facilities, the elderly have access to social networking, personal care, health maintenance, and accommodations. Various types of residential care homes are on hand to meet the different care needs of the residents. For a list of residential care homes, care and attention homes, and nursing homes, visit: http://www.swd.gov.hk/en/index/site_pubsvc/page_elderly/sub_residentia/id_listofresi/.

The Social Welfare Department implemented a Central Waiting List for subsidized long-term care services in 2003. Applicants must submit to standardized assessment and then be matched to the right services to be considered for subsidized long-term care services. The elderly can also apply for different social security schemes. For instance, the Social Security Allowance Scheme offers Hong Kong residents aged 65 or above, or who are severely disabled, with a monthly allowance. For more information on this scheme, visit: http://www.swd.gov.hk/en/index/site_pubsvc/page_socsecu/sub_ssallowance/index.html

All of the Hong Kong residents who are age 65 or above may apply for a Senior Citizen Card. This allows carriers various benefits like discounts, concessions, and priority services that are offered by commercial establishments, different organizations, and the government.

There are several organizations in Hong Kong that offer services and information for the elderly. The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (http://www.hkcss.org.hk/) has NGO information and activities for elders. The Hong Kong Housing Society (http://www.hkhselderly.com/) offers information on the initiative of the society which targets both the elderly and those who care for them. Additional agencies and organizations are:

Department of Health
Elderly Health Services
Room 3502-4, 35th Floor, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen's Road East
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel: 852 2121 8621
E-mail: ehsenq@dh.gov.hk

Housing Department
Housing for Senior Citizens Scheme
33 Fat Kwong Street
Ho Man Tin
Hong Kong
Tel: 852 2712 2712
Email: hkha@housingauthority.gov.hk

The Department of Health has established 18 elderly health centers in Hong Kong. The wait times are long, however, due to the number of elderly in Hong Kong and the slow turnover rate. Over the past few years, more consideration has been given to the state of the residential homes of the elderly. The quality of these is improving but more goals are currently being worked on in this area. The Care and Attention homes offer accommodation in shared rooms, 3 meals per day, snacks, nursing services, 24 hour staff, organized activities, and personal care services.

With an increasingly aging population, there is currently insufficient government funding which has limited the supply of elderly care services. Out of nearly 1 million senior citizens, fewer than 7,000 have day care services. Around 20,000 receive house cleaning services and meal deliveries. Many of the senior citizens in Hong Kong are cared for by domestic helpers who are normally from out of the country, particularly the Philippines. Nursing homes can be very expensive and social security benefits do not always cover the cost of private facilities. Although the global average rate of elderly living in institutional care is 3-4%, in Hong Kong the average is close to 8%.

For more information regarding services for the elderly, visit:

Social Welfare Department
Elderly Services
8/F, Wu Chung House
213 Queen's Road East
Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2343 2255
Email: swdenq@swd.gov.hk

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