Essay about Policy Implication and the Way Forward

3607 Words Sep 9th, 2014 15 Pages
Asian J Gerontol Geriatr 2012; 7: 59–63

Policy implication and the way forward
WM Chan FHKAM(Community Medicine)
Elderly Health Service, Department of Health, Hong Kong

SPECIAL ARTICLE

Correspondence to: Dr Wai Man Chan, Elderly Health Service, Department of Health, Hong Kong. E-mail: w_m_chan@dh.gov.hk

ABSTRACT Care for the elderly was one of the 3 main policy objectives of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 1997. Many policy initiatives have been introduced in terms of financial support, better housing, and long-term care services. For active ageing, an innovative project known as the ‘Elder Academy’ aimed at promoting intergenerational cohesion, which is now under threat owing to changing social patterns. With
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Many people may view elders as burdens to society owing to their decreased economic productivity and higher need for medical and personal care. Population ageing is inevitable as fertility continues to decline and life expectancy continues to increase. In 2010, the life expectancy of men in Hong Kong was the longest in the world at 80.2 years, whereas that of women was second to Japan at 86.4 years.2 The local birth rate remained very low, and the proportion of elders in the community will increase rapidly. Elders aged ≥65 years constituted 13% of the population in 2010; this is projected to increase to 16% in 2016 and 26% in 2031. The age group of 85+ years is the fastest growing: from 118 800 in 2010 to 168 900 in 2016 and to 244 400 in 2030, representing an increase of 42% and 105% compared with 2010 figures.3,4

for the elderly is the responsibility of every family, the Chief Executive affirmed the government’s commitment and support to help improve the quality of life of elders by providing them with a sense of security (老有所養), a sense of belonging (老有所屬), and a feeling of health and worthiness (老有所為). The Elderly Commission, comprising professionals, academics, and service providers, was established to provide advice to the government on policies and services for elders.5 Policy initiatives have been introduced in terms of financial support, housing, long-term care (residential care, home, and community care), and active and healthy ageing.

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