Hong Kong’s senior services

The Salvation Army’s programs allow elders to safely age in place.

Thanks to strong community partnerships, The Salvation Army in Hong Kong is helping senior citizens age in place safely, withstanding external forces of nature like extreme heat and internal concerns, such as failing eyesight.

Hong Kong’s average summer temperature is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity. In these conditions, elders can feel sick. With the rising cost of living, most grassroots elders won’t spend money on an electric fan.

To ensure these individuals have a comfortable and safe summer, The Salvation Army and Midland IC&I Limited partnered to provide new electric fans to elders in need. More than 200 people received the fans, which by providing better air circulation may help reduce the risk of heat stroke.

“This is so great–thank you all very much,” said 85-year-old Ms. Mui, one of the recipients. She lives alone in a small, poorly ventilated public housing unit. Previously her only resource was an old fan that barely stirred the air.

Daniel Wong, CEO of Midland IC&I, and volunteers of the company presented the fans to the elders.

As they age, some seniors experience failing eyesight, impacting their ability to care for themselves. To help these individuals remain in the community, The Salvation Army partnered with Midland IC&I Limited and the Rotary Club of Peninsula Sunrise to organize the Light Angel Elderly Eye Care Project. Assisted by Dr. Jeffrey Pong, chairman of Hong Kong Federation of Societies for Prevention of Blindness, 60 elders in Yau Tsim Mong District attended free eye care seminars and eye check-ups, and six elders suffering from severe cataracts received free surgeries.

Afterward, the elders met with Wong from Midland IC&I Limited and Alex Hung, president of the Rotary Club of Peninsula Sunrise, to express their gratitude.

“Uncle” Tam received the surgery. He and his wife, both in their late 80s, looked after each other. Eventually Uncle Tam took over the household chores during Mrs. Tam’s recovery from a serious illness, but his deteriorating vision posed a problem; both his eyes had cataracts.

Tam was discouraged by the long wait for a procedure in the public hospitals, but he couldn’t afford a private clinic. The Tams live in an old building without an elevator, and taking the stairs with poor eyesight was dangerous.

After he joined the project, Tam received the surgery. Following the doctor’s advice, he restored his vision.

“Apart from expressing my gratitude to the “Light Angel Elderly Eye Care Project, I would like to take this opportunity to raise public awareness on cataract that affects elderly very much,” Tam said.

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