Ageing and Long-Term Care: National Policies in the by Lecturer in Geography David R Phillips, Alfred C M Chan

By Lecturer in Geography David R Phillips, Alfred C M Chan

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As recently as 1981, there were as few as 7 private homes for the aged, which increased to 73 in 1986 and dramatically to 256 in 1990. 11 Hong Kong: Types of Residential Care Available, 2001 Source: Social Welfare Department Hong Kong (May 2001). over 500 private homes for the aged housing about 25,000 elderly residents — over half of the total residential care population. About 80 per cent of residents are using social security payments to pay or part-pay their charges, and the private sector will be the key provider for residential placements in the foreseeable future.

Today, this growing coherence represents the efforts of the chief executive, the Elderly Commission (EC) and the Health and Welfare Bureau. The EC has so far developed guidelines principally for the three executive departments: the Hospital Authority (HA) for hospital treatment and rehabilitation, the Department of Health for health promotion and disease prevention, and the Social Welfare Department for personal social services. Other departments still tend to implement complementary yet essentially independent policies to improve services for older persons.

Policy and services aimed at promoting a sense of belonging essentially cover housing, community support and residential care. They include a priority housing allocation scheme for families willing to live with their elderly relatives; provision of accommodation for all elderly people within two years of their application; a special housing programme for elderly tenants, including sheltered housing and a rental allowance; and the encouragement of private housing developers to target provision for elderly customers.

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