Elderly Right Project
“Though seventy and eighty years ago and still have to collect cardboxes”
In Central, the heart of the financial centre, one can easily find, amidst the stream of bankers, elderly persons bending their backs to pick up cardboard. Walking from one high-rise building to another, they constitute a sharp portrait of this city.
There are more than three hundred thousand elderly persons in poverty in Hong Kong, one-third of the elderly population lives in poverty. In the absence of retirement protection, these elderly persons adopt various means to supplement their livelihood.
Livelihood apart, they also have to worry about their illnesses. The fees for government medical services have been increasing. The waiting time for government specialist medical services exceeds one year. One has to wait for about three years before being admitted to a subsidized home for the elderly, more than 6000 of them pass away during the long wait. Since the 90s, SoCO organized elderly in poverty and illness to fight for the right to improve their livelihood. Their service targets include the elderly with employment, elderly caregivers, elderly persons not receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, elderly living alone or with older partner, and elderly persons living in difficulty with their family members.
- Over 330,000 elderly live in poverty in Hong Kong, 1 in every 3 elder in Hong Kong live under poverty line
- Over half of working elderly engage in low-end physical labor and the average income is 33% less than Hong Kong average
280 500 elderly need assistance from others in their daily living, only 47.6% have caregivers, and 26.3% of caregivers are their spouses
- Over 9000 elderly waiting for community care services and day care centers, average waiting time over 1 year
- Waiting time for specialist in public hospital could be as long as 2-3 years
SoCO organize over 60 elderly in poverty and working poor to advocate for Improvement on employment protection for working elderly, and universal retirement protection scheme. SoCO organize a group for caregivers to advocate for better financial and care support to old couples, and organize over 70 elders with chronic illness to advocate for a primary health care system that protect the most vulnerable. Pressurize the government to improve elderly policy and services through conducting research, press release and social actions.
Assisting more than 700 elderly people in setting up the Elderly Rights League to
improve the welfare of the elderly, retirement protection, health care, residential care services and community care services.
- Through outreaching work, identify previously unnoticed elderly people who live alone and provide them with welfare support services.
- Focus on grassroots health policy, promote primary health checkups and carry out various health promotion activities for the elderly.
- Housing.Assisting more than 1,000 elderly people to apply for social security or public housing each year.