Hong Kong Should Create Proper Elderly Care Policies As Life Expectancy Rises

In spite of being one of the richest cities in the world, it looks like the government is not yet ready to support the elderly in the country.
In spite of being one of the richest cities in the world, it looks like the government is not yet ready to support the elderly in the country. (Photo: REUTERS/Edgar Su)

Hongkongers now live longer than other people in the world, thanks to the country's medical advances. However, in spite of being one of the richest cities, it looks like the government is not yet ready to support the elderly in the country.

According to the released government data in 2017, Hongkongers have the longest life expectancy in the world. Males have lived for 81.7 years while females have lived for 87.7 years. That didn't stop there. In fact, for the past 50 years, Hong Kong citizens' life expectancy continuously rises.

It was also projected that by 2066, men would averagely live 87.1 years in Hong Kong while women would live for 93.1 years. In no time, the 100-year mark life expectancy would be reached. But could the government support these people?

Qoshe reported not many governments are ready for this. In fact, many of them don't have the right policies to support the elderly. They also lack effective policies to solve the social and economic problems that come with the rise of longer life expectancy.

If truth be told, in a survey made by Hong Kong Christian Service, it was revealed half of the city's elderly people were not satisfied with their pensions. Hong Kong didn't even have enough "good and affordable" care homes.

So in the released government statistics in March, it showed a radical increased in the number of elderly households. Categorized as elderly couples or those living alone, the numbers went up as high as 300,000 compared to the 180,000 recorded in 2008.

This is not even far from happening because of the government's HK$1,345 (US$170) old age allowance monthly. This is even considered as "fruit money" because of its poor amount.

Hong Kong's "third-world" elderly care is not living up to its name as one of the richest cities in the world, per the South China Morning Post. Here, the elderly people can be seen picking up cardboard boxes and other recyclable scraps from the street. They will end up selling these stuff to have something to eat.

So in spite of being a rich country, Hong Kong was ranked to have the "third poorest elderly population" out of 97 countries in 2015. This was part of the global quality of life index.

Evidently, there is a dire need to create elderly care policies in Hong Kong that will befit its status as an international financial center. The government should also plan a policy that will specifically focus on improving the lives of poor senior people. They should even develop and maintain policies that will help optimize the "mental, physical, and social well-being" of the country's elderly people. 

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