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- Services for the Elderly


FAQ

Services for the Elderly

  1. I am more than eighty years old now and in poor health. My family is unable to take care of me. Where can I apply for places in Government-subsidised residential care homes for the elderly?
     

  2. There is no immediate need for me to apply for residential care home for the elderly now but I am worried that my health will gradually deteriorate in the coming years. Should I apply for such in advance?
     

  3. I am able to take care of myself and would like to leave my children and move to live with a few friends. What kind of services is suitable for me?
     

  4. My friend and I applied for care and attention home places on the same day. Recently I have learnt that my friend has been offered a placement, while I still hear nothing about my application. Why?
     

  5. I intend to apply for long term care services.  How much do I have to pay as the processing fee?
     

  6. How many District Elderly Community Centres (DECCs) and Neighbourhood Elderly Centres (NECs) have been upgraded after the Re-engineering of Community Support Services for Elders?  At present, how many DECCs and NECs are serving the elders in the territory all together? 
       

  7. What are the differences between the services of Neighbourhood Elderly Centres and Social Centres for the Elderly?
     

  8. I am a carer taking care of my 82-year-old father.  Where can I get information regarding carers support service? What kind of services can I obtain? 
       

  9. What are the eligible criteria for applying for the Senior Citizen Card?  How to apply for the Card?

  10. What is the fee charging for applying for the Card?  What is the procedure for replacement application?
     

  11. How to participate in the Scheme for organizations or companies interested in offering concessions/discounts to senior citizens? Is there any restriction on the form and content of the concessions?
     

  12. The number of demented elderly continues to increase.  What are the available services provided for them by the government?
     

  13. How can I join the Support Team for the Elderly to serve the vulnerable elders?
     

  14. What is carers support service? What kind of services or activities will be provided by carers support service?
     

  15. What is the application procedure for licensing of a proposed residential care home for the elderly?
     

  16. I need to be hospitalized for operation next month, but I am so worried that no one will take care of my eighty-year-old mother at home. What can I do?
     

  17. I would like to apply for Enhanced Home and Community Care Services.  How do I apply?
     

  18. Can I directly approach integrated home care services units to apply for service?

 

 



Services for the Elderly

Q1. I am more than eighty years old now and in poor health. My family is unable to take care of me. Where can I apply for places in Government-subsidised residential care homes for the elderly?
A1. The Social Welfare Department has since 28 November 2003 implemented a Central Waiting List for subsidised long term care services to facilitate single entry point registration and allocation of subsidised long term care services, including residential care services and community support services. Elders or persons acting on behalf of the applicants may approach the following referring offices for raising the request:
(a) Integrated Family Service Centres (IFSCs);
(b) Medical Social Services Units (MSSUs);
(c) District Elderly Community Centres (DECC);
(d) Neighbourhood Elderly Centres (NECs)/Social Centres for the Elderly (S/E); and
(e) Other service units e.g. Family and Child Protective Service Units, Counselling Units, Integrated Services for Street Sleepers, etc.

Upon their requests for long term care services, elders will be arranged standardised care need assessment to ascertain their care need and match them with appropriate long term care services, e.g. residential care services.

 

Q2. There is no immediate need for me to apply for residential care home for the elderly now but I am worried that my health will gradually deteriorate in the coming years. Should I apply for such in advance?
A2. There is no need for you to apply for residential care home placement in advance. Application for long term care services (including residential care services and community care services) is based on the actual health condition and service need of elders. Upon raising their request, elders will be arranged standardised care need assessment to ascertain their impairment level and service needs. Therefore, if the elders are healthy without immediate need for residential care placement, their applications according to the assessment result will not be accepted by the Central Waiting List.

 

Q3. I am able to take care of myself and I would like to leave my children and move to live with a few friends.  What kind of services is suitable for me?
A3. The 'Housing for Senior Citizens Scheme' administered by the Housing Authority is an appropriate option for you. The scheme aims to provide residential flats for people of 60 years old or above. Supervisory services are also provided for handling emergency situations. Priority will normally be given to public housing applications submitted by elderly couples or small groups of elderly singletons (2 to 3 people).

 

Q4. My friend and I applied for care and attention home places on the same day. Recently I have learnt that my friend has been offered a placement, while I still hear nothing about my application. Why?
A4. Apart from the number of places available, the waiting period for allocation of places is also subject to other factors, including the date of application, applicant's preferences and choices for homes (preference for districts/specific homes, religious background of homes, choice of diet etc). If an applicant does not opt for a specific home, his waiting period would normally be shorter than those who have indicated preference for specific homes. Besides, applicants of care and attention homes may also choose to accept Government-subsidised places in private homes under the 'Enhanced Bought Place Scheme', thereby shortening and thus shorten their waiting period.

 

Q5. I intend to apply for long term care services.  How much do I have to pay as the processing fee?
A5. Application for long term care services, be it residential care services or community care services, is free of charge. Social workers and relevant staff who process and deal with the application will not charge the applicant or his family any fee.

 

Q6. How many District Elderly Community Centres (DECCs) and Neighbourhood Elderly Centres (NECs) have been upgraded after the Re-engineering of Community Support Services for Elders? At present, how many DECCs and NECs are serving the elders in the territory all together?
A6. Through re-engineering community support services for elders since April 2003, 36 DECCs and 110 NECs have been upgraded. At present, together with the new NECCs and NECs established since 2001-02, there are all together 41 DECCs and 118 NECs serving the elders in the territory.

 

Q7. What are the differences between the services of Neighbourhood Elderly Centres and Social Centres for the Elderly?
A7. In comparing with Social Centres for the Elderly, the Neighbourhood Elderly Centres provide expanded functions including health education, volunteer development, carers support services, reaching out and networking of singleton and vulnerable elders and meal services, etc; whereas the Social Centres mainly organise social and recreational activities for the elders.

 

Q8. I am a carer taking care of my 82-year-old father. Where can I get information regarding carers support service? What kind of services can I obtain?
A8. You may approach the District Elderly Community Centre (DECC) or the Neighbourhood Elderly Centre (NEC) near your residential address to get information regarding carers support service. The carers support service provided by DECCs and NECs includes mutual help groups for carers, talks and training activities on caring knowledge and skills, on-loan service for rehabilitation aids and equipment, etc. Besides, the day care centres for the elderly and residential care homes for the elderly provide day and residential respite services respectively to help carers take care of the frail elders in case the carers have to engage in personal affairs or commitments. The respite services help to relieve their stress so that they can resume their caring role. For details, please refer to the respective section of the homepage.

 

Q9. What are the eligible criteria for applying for the Senior Citizen Card? How to apply for the Card?
A9. Hong Kong residents aged 65 or over are eligible to apply for a Senior Citizen Card. Applicant should complete an application form, and return it with a copy of HK Identity Card and a recent photo to the Senior Citizen Card Office for processing.  Opening hours are from Monday to Friday 8:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. lunch break). The office is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Application forms are available at the service units of the Social Welfare Department, estate offices of the Housing Department, public enquiry offices and community centres of the Home Affairs Department and social centres for the elderly.

 

Q10. What is the fee charging for applying for the Card? What is the procedure for replacement application? Is it necessary for the card holders to renew their cards every year?
A10. Application for the first Card is free. However, a nominal fee will be charged for replacement. The current replacement fee for each card is $22 and is subject to revision. Applicant should complete an application form, and return it with a copy of HK Identity Card, recent photo, crossed cheque (payable to 'THE GOVERNMENT OF THE HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION') to the Senior Citizen Card Office. Replacement fee can be also paid in person at the Senior Citizen Card Office.
In addition, the card is not necessary to be renewed every year.  The staff of the Senior Citizen Card Office will not inform the card holders to renew their cards by phone.  Please do not disclose your personal particulars to strangers.  In case of doubt, please call the Senior Citizen Card Office at 2961 7580-1. 

 

Q11. How to participate in the Scheme for organisations or companies interested in offering concessions/discounts to senior citizens? Is there any restriction on the form and content of the concessions?
A11. Since the Scheme is on voluntary basis, there is no restriction on the form and content of the concession. Organisations or companies who are willing to participate in the Scheme to offer concessions/discounts of any kind to senior citizens can complete the application form and return it to the Senior Citizen Card Office. Application forms are available at the Senior Citizen Card Office and can be downloaded at SWD internet web page. In case of any questions, please call the Senior Citizen Card Office at 29617580-1.

 

Q12. The number of demented elderly continues to increase.  What are the available services provided for them by the government?
A12.

The medical and social welfare sectors provide integrated services for the demented elders. Social Welfare Department (SWD), Department of Health and Hospital Authority are having close collaboration in different aspects of service provision. Regarding welfare services, SWD and Non-governmental Organisations are offering a range of services including residential care services, day care centres for the elderly, day and residential respite service, home-based services and public education, etc. 

A. Residential services for demented elders:

Dementia supplement was introduced in November 1998 to provide additional resource for subvented residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs) to strengthen their manpower in providing better care and training to demented elders. RCHEs can use the supplement to employ social worker, nurse or occupational therapist to provide additional care and training for the demented elders.
 

B. Day care services for demented elders:

After the expiry of the pilot project on 'Day Care Centres for Demented Elderly' in March 2003, the Social Welfare Department implemented the In-situ Expansion on Day Care Centres for the Elderly since 1 April 2003. Additional resources have been provided to increase the capacity of the day care centres for the elderly and enhanced their ability on taking care of the demented elders.  Regarding the scope of services and application procedures of the day care centres for the elderly, please refer to the 'day care centres for the elderly' in this homepage.

 

Q13. How can I join the Support Team for the Elderly to serve the vulnerable elders?
A13. All interested persons are welcome to join the Support Teams for the Elderly as volunteers to serve vulnerable elders. They can contact respective Support Team for the Elderly based at the district elderly community centre according to the district where they work or live.

 

Q14. What is carers support service? What kind of services or activities will be provided by carers support service?
A14. Carers support service is a type of community support services for carers of the elders. The Service aims at enhancing the caring ability of the carers, and relieving their stress in taking care of the elders through providing them with information, resources and training, so as to facilitate them in caring elders who are living in the community.

The scope of carers support service normally includes:

  • conduct skill-training and educational programmes, so as to assist the carers in handling elders' needs and to enhance their ability and knowledge in taking care of the elders;
  • promote the setting up of mutual support groups; by sharing experiences and mutual support among carers in the groups, the carers' ability and confidence in taking care of the elders can be enhanced;
  • set up resource corner and telephone enquiry service, so as to provide the carers with relevant information and reference materials;
  • brief counselling and referral services;
  • demonstration / loan of rehabilitation-aid equipment;
  • arrange social and recreational activities for carers.

    Most of the community support service units including District Elderly Community Centre, Neighbourhood Elderly Centre, Day Care Centre for the Elderly, Enhanced Home and Community Care Services and Integrated Home Care Services provide various kinds of carers support service. Besides, the subvented Residential Care Homes for the Elderly and the Day Care Centre for the Elderly also provide respite services for the elders (including both residential and day respite), so as to relieve the stress of the carers in taking care of the frail elders.

     

    Q15. What is the application procedure for licensing of a proposed residential care home for the elderly?
    A15. Any person who intends to operate a residential care home for the elderly (hereafter referred to a RCHE) should first acquaint himself with the statutory provisions governing the operation of a RCHE as laid down in the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance and Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Regulation. The 'Procedural Guide for Application for Licensing of a Proposed RCHE' with three attached Annexes have been uploaded on the SWD homepage. Please click in according to the following sequence of headings :

    1. 'Service Sectors'
    2. 'Services for the Elderly'
    3. 'Residential Care Services for the Elderly'
    4. 'Licensing'

    Prospective operators are also welcomed to consult the Licensing Office of Residential Care Homes for the Elderly (hereafter referred to LORCHE) on the details of the requirements. A 'Code of Practice for Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons)' and application form etc. are also uploaded on the SWD homepage and available free of charge in LORCHE.

    An application for licensing of a RCHE can only be processed when the prescribed application form is properly completed and all necessary documents as required are submitted by the prospective operator to LORCHE.

    Upon receipt of all the necessary certificates/documents, and if they are all in order, LORCHE would under normal circumstances, take 8 weeks to complete processing the application for a licence and issue the licence. The applicant will be notified of the result, i.e. whether the RCHE can obtain a licence. Successful licensing of a RCHE depends on the full compliance with the requirements stipulated in the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance, the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Regulation and the Code of Practice for Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons).

    The Licence issued in respect of a RCHE is non-transferable and is free of charge. A licence, which is issued in respect of a specific residential care home for the elderly contains information of the home being certified under the hand of the Director of Social Welfare, shall be evidence of facts stated therein under Section 8(5) of the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance and, is thus non-transferable. In case there is any change(s) in home name, home address, home type, licensing capacity and/or licence holder, application for a new licence is required.

     

    Q16. I need to be hospitalised for operation next month, but I am so worried that no one will take care of my eighty-year-old mother at home. What can I do?
    A16.

    You may approach social workers for recommendation and arrangement for your mother during your hospitalisation. There are many community support services that can help you when needed. You can also consider respite service in residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs) to take care of your mother during your absence. Residential respite service aims to provide temporary residential care service to elders and to enable carers to have a rest in times of need, e.g. attending medical appointment or having personal affairs, so that they can resume their caring duties. Service is provided by all subvented residential care homes for the elderly and nursing homes. The maximum accumulative number of service days is 42 within a year, but special consideration can be given to individual needy elders. Service can be repeatedly used.
    Application and advanced booking should be made through referrals by social workers of Integrated Family Service Centres, Medical Social Services Units, District Elderly Community Centres, Neighbouthood Elderly Centres, Social Centres for the Elderly, Day Care Centres/Units for the Elderly, Enhanced Home and Community Care Services Teams, Integrated Home Care Services Teams and Home Help Team.

     

    Q17. I would like to apply for Enhanced Home and Community Care Services.  How do I apply?
    A17. Enhanced Home and Community Care Services (EHCCS) is an integrated care service provided for the frail elders. It aims to satisfy the nursing and caring needs of the elders living in the community and to provide carers support service, so as to support the elders to continue living in the familiar home environment and to achieve the aim of family cohesion. If you like to apply for Enhanced Home and Community Care Services, you may approach the nearby Integrated Family Service Centres / Integrated Services Centres (ISCs), District Elderly Community Centres, Neighbourhood Elderly Centres or Social Centres for the Elderly. If you are on active follow-up at the public hospitals / clinics, you may also apply through the medical social services units of the hospitals or clinics. If you are assessed to have the need for Enhanced Home and Community Care Services after an initial screening, the social workers will refer you to the Standardised Care Need Assessment Management Office (Elderly Services) for assessment and arrangement of service matched.

     

    Q18. Can I directly approach integrated home care services units to apply for service?
    A18. Since 1 April 2003, most of the home help teams have been upgraded to integrated home care services teams through a re-engineering exercise on community support services for elders. The caring and nursing functions of the teams are enhanced to take care of needy cases. To cater for different needs of service users, integrated home care services teams will provide services to two categories of cases: (1) frail cases (Elderly persons : refer to cases who suffer from moderate to severe level of impairment, and require a comprehensive package of service; People with Disabilities: refer to those severely physically handicapped persons who require a comprehensive package of service) ; (2) ordinary cases (refer to cases who suffer from no to mild level of impairment or disability, or those cases that are assessed at moderate or severe level of impairment or disability but require only personal care and home-making service).
    For applicants who would like to apply for services for frail cases, they can approach social workers of Integrated Family Service Centres / Integrated Services Centres (ISCs), Medical Social Services Units, District Elderly Community Centres, Neighbourhood Elderly Centres, Social Centres for the Elderly or rehabilitation service units for arrangement. All applicants who are assessed to have the need for Integrated Home Care Services (Frail cases) after an initial screening will be referred to the Standardised Care Need Assessment Management Office (Elderly Services) for assessment and arrangement of appropriate service matched. For applicants who would like to apply for services under ordinary cases, they may directly approach respective integrated home care services teams or respective welfare service units for application for the services.