City adopts a proactive approach to helping the elderly

Updated 2018-01-05 10:01:06 China Daily

Healthcare workers attend to a man from Hong Kong who lives at a nursing home in Guangdong province. China Daily

In her maiden policy address, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor expanded the city's voucher programs for seniors, especially those who have been discharged from hospital and use care services at home.

The vouchers, funded by the government, provide seniors with a free, convenient service delivered by local nongovernment organizations, which saves family members a great deal of time and effort.

Unlike the original funding plans for nursing homes, where the fees are paid and residents accept the services offered with little opportunity to defer, seniors entitled to nursing home service vouchers are allowed to switch nursing homes if they are dissatisfied with the service provided.

The missing or weak step in the elderly care ladder - home and community care services - has led to a vacuum. Those who are able to negotiate the complex and often confusing system have to foot the bill via their disposable income.

The government's voucher program makes a difference, even though the amount offered is small, according to Helene Fung Hoi-lam, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who researches aging issues in the city.

Hong Kong's limited land resources have unavoidably meant the city's aging problems require better solutions than simply building more nursing homes and facilities for the elderly.

Multipronged solutions with an "innovative thinking and approach", as the policy address put it, need to be in place as the population ages at an increasingly rapid rate.

The authorities are looking to technology to solve the problem.

The government will earmark HK billion (8 million) to help nursing homes purchase new technology to cope with manpower constraints.

That constitutes part of the multipronged approach and is the right direction to solve the aging issue, according to Fung.

Some nursing homes in the city have heeded the government's call to adopt technology to overcome staff shortages.

For example, some have installed alarm systems that alert caregivers when the diaper of a bed-ridden patient is full, while others have introduced robots to help people with early-stage dementia to maintain cognitive functions, and improve efficiency.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58January 20 2018 07:31:28

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16January 20 2018 07:31:28

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18January 20 2018 07:31:28

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords