Ageing Care in the Community: Current Practices and Future Directions

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Population ageing is a challenge to societies worldwide in terms of healthcare, social support, community infrastructure, and more. With one of the longest life expectancies in the world, Hong Kong will soon see a dramatic increase in the number of older residents together with a decrease in the old age dependency ratio. This book provides a timely examination of the current status and services available for Hong Kong’s ageing population in four key areas: general healthcare needs, such as health promotion and lifestyle modifications; specific healthcare needs, including care of chronic conditions and hip fractures; psychosocial needs for older people with intellectual disabilities and impairments, as well as the needs of their caregivers; and environmental and technological needs in relation to universal design, information and communication technology, and telehealth.

Drawing from a wide range of experience in local professional settings combined with international best practices, the authors offer holistic, evidence-based solutions for the development of an age-friendly society where elders can age in place at home in their communities. These suggestions will be useful for policy makers, healthcare practitioners, social workers, care workers, as well as older people and their families not only in Hong Kong but globally.
Pub. Date
Feb 9, 2024
524 pages
178 x 254 mm

Preface (Excerpts)

The world population is ageing. A decline in fertility rates and an increase in life expectancy have caused general demographic changes throughout the world. Indeed, life expectancies at birth for women and men worldwide have increased, with the biggest projected percentage increase expected between 2019 and 2050 in East and South-East Asia as well as in Northern Africa and Western Asia in terms of the proportion of persons aged 80 or above (United Nations, 2020).

The Ageing Population in Hong Kong

Similar to other developed regions, the population in Hong Kong is facing a rapid ageing trend. This increasing trend from 2006 to 2016 outpaced that from 1996 to 2006, with the proportion of persons aged 65 and above rising from 10.1% in 1996 to 12.4% in 2006, and then to 16.6% in 2016 (Census and Statistics Department, 2018). Among older persons in 2016, 53.0% (0.62 million) were aged between 65 and 74, 17.7% (0.21 million) were aged 75 to 79, and 29.3% (0.34 million) were 80 or above (Census and Statistics Department, 2018). In fact, approximately one in every three older persons aged 65 lived to at least 80 years old, and the population of people aged 80 or over expanded significantly (Census and Statistics Department, 2018). This acceleration in the age of the population is primarily attributed to the post-war baby boomers entering old age.


The Hong Kong Government’s Response to the Ageing Population

There are a few directives that have emanated from the Hong Kong Government which are aimed at the ageing population, including strengthening support for older persons and their caregivers living in the community, making use of technology and innovation to improve the quality of life and quality of care available to older people, improving the transitional care available to frail elders, and targeting public resources to help older persons in need while providing co-payment options and choices for those who can afford them under the principle of shared responsibility (Chief Secretary for Administration Office, 2017). The Chief Secretary for Administration went on to state: “With more cohorts of our population who will age with better education, in better health and with better financial means in future, [the Hong Kong Government] should give ageing a new definition” (2017, p. 2). To strengthen the community and social needs surrounding the ageing population, the then Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Mrs Carrie Lam, set out the following points in her 2017 Policy Address.


This Book

This book is focused on the challenges in community care for the ageing population of Hong Kong. We, the editors of this book, have already discussed the relatively low level of healthcare expenditure in Hong Kong when compared to other developed countries, despite the Hong Kong Government’s heavy subsidies for medical care at the secondary and tertiary levels, in our first book, Community Care in Hong Kong: Current Practices, Practice-research Studies, and Future Directions (Tong and Fong, 2014). As the Hong Kong population is ageing, the growing number of patients with chronic diseases will likely constitute a greater burden to the public healthcare system, and it is not simply an issue of controlling costs or increasing resources (Leung, 2018).


We end this book with a brief discussion on its limitations and the future directions to face the challenges arising from the ageing population. In short, cross-disciplinary collaborations and innovative studies are required, in view of the differences between the ever-changing generation of older persons and their counterparts in the future.

Kenneth Nai-kuen FONG, Kar-wai TONG

Part I      General Healthcare Needs of Older Persons in the Community


1   Promoting the Health of Older Persons in Hong Kong, by Wai-man CHAN

2   East and West Lifestyle Modification for Health Promotion during the Ageing Process, by Bacon Fung-leung NG and Hector Wing-hong TSANG

3   The 3 Hs: A Review of Housing, Healthiness, and Happiness for Ageing in Place, by Carmen Ka-man NG, Selina Siu-ching LO, Demi Wai-ying CHU, and Joyce Ka-naam HUI


Part II     Specific Healthcare Needs of Older Persons in the Community


4   The Management of Chronic Disease for Older People in the Community, by Claudia K. Y. LAI

5   Fear of Falling among Older Adults: Measurements and Interventions, by Wan-ting TOH and Kenneth Nai-kuen FONG

6   Collaboration between Orthopaedic Surgeons and Geriatricians to Improve Functional Outcomes for Frail Older Patients Undergoing Surgery, by Bosco Hon-ming MA and David Lok-kwan DAI


Part III     Psychosocial Needs of Older Persons in the Community


7   A Review of Public Services for Older People with Intellectual Disabilities, by Cherry Ying-kwan LAM and Kenneth Nai-kuen FONG

8   Non-pharmacological Interventions for Cognitive Performance in Older People with Dementia or Mild Cognitive Impairment, by Ernest Chiu-lun YU

9   Promotion of Person-centred Care for People with Dementia, by The Hong Kong Society for the Aged (SAGE)

10   Empowering Dementia Care in the Community: A Strength-based Care Management Approach, by Vivian Wei-qun LOU, Kelly Zhijuan HE, Patrick Ka-chun CHIU, Reynold Cheuk-man LEUNG, and Felix Hon-wai CHAN

11   Family and Community Engagement in End-of-life Care for Older Adults, by Amy Yin-man CHOW

12   Advance Care Planning for Older Adults in Hong Kong, by Faye Man-yu CHAN


Part IV    Environmental and Technological Needs of Older Persons in the Community


13   Environmental Design for Older Adults, by Calvin Wing-hong LUK

14   From Assistive Technology to Universal Design: Meeting the Needs of the Population, by Kenneth Nai-kuen FONG and Carmen Ka-man YAU

15   The Use of Information Technology to Improve the Well-being of Older Adults, by Will W. K. MA

16   Population Ageing, Ageing in Place, Telehealth, and Legal Concerns, by Kar-wai TONG



Kenneth Nai-kuen FONG

Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Director of the Research Centre for Assistive Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Kar-wai TONG

Seasoned healthcare manager, barrister and solicitor (New Zealand) (non-practising), legal practitioner (New South Wales, Australia) (non-practising)