Subsequent to the roundtable discussion convened by ZeShan Foundation in April 2014, a cross-sector working group has been formed with a focus around Hong Kong elderly services. The group was comprised of three task forces to take lead on forum organization, policy and advocacy, and dementia, respectively, which collectively work toward addressing issues raised during said roundtable discussion.
In the face of a rapidly ageing population in Hong Kong, the working group believes that an effective public-private partnership is required to mobilize the community and the government to work in concert towards the needs of this shifting demographic. Only in coupling policy change with innovative solutions can Hong Kong be made an exemplar of quality elderly services for the region.
In line with the group’s goal of encouraging cross-sector collaboration, the twenty members themselves are representatives of different sectors, such as grant-making foundations, academia and service providers, so as to join forces and work in synergy towards the common goal of improving elderly services.
Task Force 1: Conference Organization
The first task force organized a 2-day forum with a focus on building sustainable public-private partnership in elderly services, which was held in Hong Kong in mid-November 2015 just ahead of Hong Kong’s Senior Citizens’ Day. The goal behind this forum was to bring together private foundations, policy-makers, academics and service providers in a platform to develop private-public partnerships, as well as to demonstrate the importance of creating sustainable partnerships detailed through case studies.
Task Force 2: Policy & Advocacy
Convenor: Mr Patrick Cheung, Managing Director, The Jade Club
The second task force reviews elderly-related policies and advocates for greater cross-sector collaboration. In meetings convened with Miss Annie Tam, JP, Permanent Secretary for Labour and Welfare, and Dr. C. K. Law, Principal Investigator of the Consultant Team for the Elderly Commission’s Working Group on Elderly Services Program Plan (ESPP), members of this task force introduced the work and future plans of their respective organizations, discussed policy developments, and expressed views on the role and involvement of private foundations in the development of elderly services in Hong Kong.
Task Force 3: Dementia and Caregiver Support
Convenor: Ms Florence Ho, General Manager of the Jockey Club Centre for Positive Ageing & Jockey Club CADENZA Hub
The third task force looks specifically at dementia, diving into the policy and institutional support given to caregivers of dementia patients in Hong Kong. There are some 18,000 new cases of dementia every year in Hong Kong, and with the city’s ageing population, this neurological condition is expected to affect some 280,000, or 4% of the local population, by 2036.