8 October 2010 CADENZA Symposium tackles looming problems of aging population
With an ageing population that is likely to grow to almost 30 per cent aged 65 or older by 2039, Hong Kong must make preparations without delay. That was the message from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Steward Dr Donald K T Li at today’s opening ceremony (8 October) of the 4th Symposium, CADENZA: A Jockey Club Initiative for Seniors jointly organised with the Faculty of Medicine of The Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Faculty of Social Sciences of The University of Hong Kong.
The conference, using the theme of Age-Friendly World Cities and Environment, will discuss how to create a positive ageing environment and make Hong Kong an elderly-friendly city.
“For our city to stay competitive, we must create the environment that enables older people to live in security, enjoy good health and continue to participate fully in society,” said Dr Li. “Over the past years, the CADENZA Project has been working hard to determine how individuals can achieve positive ageing and how different sectors of our society can better collaborate to meet future needs of the silver-hair market. This year, the Symposium is bringing the discussions to the next level – how our city can be more age-friendly.”
Secretary for Labour and Welfare The Hon Matthew Cheung said, “as the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age, many global economies are facing the challenge of an ageing population. Hong Kong is no exception. This symposium provides a timely and useful platform for us to take stock of our overall performance. In effect, this is a health check and the findings will shed light on our strengths and deficiencies.”
Elderly Commission Chairman Dr the Hon Leong Che-hung pointed out that “perhaps one of the biggest stumbling blocks is that elderly discriminations are still fairly widespread and elderly abuses are not infrequent” and this would be what more can be done.
Core discussions for this year’s Symposium are based on the World Health Organisation guidelines with respect to New York, and feature how health outcomes may be influenced by health and social care systems and neighbourhoods, and how urban design and use of information technology may contribute to making the environment more elderly-friendly.
Three overseas speakers, The New York Academy of Medicine Vice President for Health Policy Professor Ruth Finkelstein, New York University Professor of Health Policy and Management Victor Rodwin, and The Hastings Center Research Scholar Professor Michael Gusmano, will elaborate on the theme.
The two-day symposium will address the perspectives from both world cities and Hong Kong, with case studies of non-government organizations. CADENZA Project Director Professor Jean Woo discussed the contributions of geographic, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors to quality of life, frailty and mortality in elderly in Hong Kong. She pointed out that district variations in health outcomes existed in the Hong Kong elderly population, and these variations resulted directly from district factors and also indirectly mediated through socioeconomic position as well as lifestyle.
Speakers of a forum on “Ageing in Place: Matching Policy to Needs” include Dr the Hon Leong Che-hung; Director of Social Welfare Patrick Nip; Chief Executive of The Hong Kong Council of Social Service Christine Fang; Hospital Authority Hong Kong East Cluster Deputy Cluster Service Director and The Hong Kong Geriatrics Society President Dr Bernard Kong; The Salvation Army Chief Manager of Senior Citizens and Rehabilitation Services Perina Li, and Professor Victor Rodwin.
CADENZA: A Jockey Club Initiative for Seniors is a project launched by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust with a donation of HK$380 million in 2006. The project aims at nurturing academic leadership in gerontology and changing the mindset and attitude of the general public through a range of training and public education programmes. Cross-sectional collaboration between organisations and the implementation of innovative elderly services and programmes are also encouraged in order to bring about a new mode of elderly care services to prepare for a rapidly ageing society. Details of CADENZA are available at www.cadenza.hk.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Founded in 1884, The Hong Kong Jockey Club has become one of Hong Kong’s best known and respected organisations, providing the public with world-class sporting entertainment as well as being the city’s major non-Government community benefactor, now donating more than HK$1 billion a year to charitable and community projects. It has been a part of Hong Kong through good times and bad, sharing the city’s growth and development with its people, and is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for future generations.