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CS visits centre for the elderly (with photos/video)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, accompanied by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, visited Yau Ma Tei Multi-service Centre for Senior Citizens operated by the Salvation Army this morning (August 2).

     During the visit, Mrs Lam and Mr Cheung were briefed on the centre's services and the background of the Salvation Army Carer Association. They also talked with the elderly members of the centre and their family caregivers, so as to learn more about their concerns about elderly policies and measures, their demand for elderly care and support services, and the pressure encountered by the elderly at the grass-roots level as well as by their caregivers.

     Mrs Lam said, "The Government has always shown deep concern towards the well-being of the elderly. They have dedicated a major part of their lives to the prosperity of society. In formulating policies regarding elderly care, we always take into consideration the opinions of the elderly and their caregivers to ensure that services can provide comprehensive support to address different aspects of their needs, including health-care, and psychological, social and developmental needs. We are also keen to promote a culture of inter-generational harmony in society, thereby implementing the Chief Executive's vision of ensuring that the elderly are honoured for their special place in the family, loved in the way they have loved us, and cared for in recognition of their lifelong contributions. Our work in this area has become especially important given the rapidly ageing population in Hong Kong."
     Established in 2003, the Salvation Army Carer Association aims to strengthen the functioning of family support, promote the sustainability of the work of elderly care and foster the community's recognition of the roles and functions of caregivers.

     Currently, there are 210 subvented elderly centres in Hong Kong, comprising 41 district elderly community centres, 118 neighbourhood elderly centres and 51 social centres for the elderly, to provide diversified services and activities to senior citizens. The Government also provides support to caregivers for the elderly through 159 elderly centres, 63 day care centres for the elderly and 85 home care services teams. By providing information, training and counselling services, as well as assisting in setting up mutual assistance groups and offering demonstrations and loans of rehabilitation equipment, the services help to relieve caregivers' pressure in taking care of the elderly at home.

     A member of the Preparatory Task Force on the Commission on Poverty, Ms Christine Fang, also joined the visit today.

Ends/Thursday, August 2, 2012
Issued at HKT 19:38


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