Hong Kong’s ageing population presents many challenges and opportunities to our society – pressure on the healthcare system; demand for greater choice and better quality of elderly services; application of the latest innovative approaches and technology; the “silver market”; and inter-generational harmony, to name a few.
In respond to this, the Club’s Charities Trust launched the Jockey Club Age-friendly City Project in 2015, covering eight pilot districts of Hong Kong with funding of over HK$190 million. With the first phase of this 5½-year project having produced positive results, the Trust has now announced that the Project is being expanded into a citywide campaign with the support of the 18 District Councils.
Phase II of the Jockey Club Age-friendly City Project will see its work extended to the remaining ten districts of Hong Kong.
The results in Phase I have been encouraging, as out of the eight pilot districts, namely Sha Tin, Tai Po, Central & Western, Wan Chai, Kowloon City, Kwun Tong, Islands and Tsuen Wan, six have already joined the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities, while the other two are at the application stage.
In addition, four local gerontology research institutes, namely the Institute of Ageing at The Chinese University of Hong Kong; the Sau Po Centre on Ageing at The University of Hong Kong; the Institute of Active Ageing at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Asia-Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies at Lingnan University, have assessed the age-friendliness of the eight pilot districts in eight domains suggested by WHO.
Based on the results of this research, the project teams have developed three-year action plans in collaboration with the District Councils, so as to enhance the age-friendliness of these districts. Some HK$1.5 million will be provided to each district within the coming three years to support NGOs and community organisations in implementing district-based programmes.
A total of 33 community-level projects have been supported so far, benefiting over 30,000 people. More than 800 "Age-friendly Ambassadors" have also been recruited from all districts of the city, and age-friendliness messages delivered to over 2,000 participants through various activities.
The elderly is one of four strategic focus areas of the Club's Charities Trust. The various Trust-funded programmes put emphasis on the quality of life of the elderly and promote positive ageing through a series of preventive support initiatives, thereby transforming the elderly’s role from a passive one to an active one, so that they can continue to interact with the community.