Hong Kong’s first detailed plan on elderly care services says city planning rules should be changed, so that every estate has elderly care centres such as nursing homes.
The Elderly Services Programme Plan was a two-year study that was requested by the government advisory group Elderly Commission. It was led by the University of Hong Kong.
The plan also says we should start long-term health care insurance for the city’s ageing population, as this will help the government save a lot of money. Right now there are about 60,000 Hongkongers who need long-term nursing homes, but that is expected to double to 125,000 by 2051.
This is the first time since 1997 that long-term planning for the city’s elderly has been done. The plan, which was written by experts from five universities, suggests an “estate-based approach”, where every new housing development would include at least one elderly centre. There should also be an elderly community centre in each new town with a population of 170,000.
The report also said we should have better services for elderly people with dementia, and said dealing with that disease should be an integral part in the planning of elderly services. It added that foreign domestic helpers should be given specific caregiver training to learn how to care for elderly people.
The plan also wants the city to show the public a more positive image of the elderly. This would give them a better role in society, and it would improve their relationship with younger Hongkongers.