Lingnan University’s Asia-Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies (APIAS) is one of the four gerontology research institutes in Hong Kong commissioned by the Hong Kong Jockey Club to conduct research to assess the current age-friendliness in society and identify appropriate directions of action under its Age-friendly City Project. Results of the research were announced at a press briefing held on 20 May.
Other gerontology research institutes involved include the Institute of Ageing at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Sau Po Centre on Ageing at The University of Hong Kong and the Institute of Active Ageing at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The research assessed the age-friendliness of the eight pilot districts in eight domains suggested by WHO, namely social participation; transportation; communication and information; outdoor spaces and buildings; respect and social inclusion; civic participation and employment; housing; and community support and health services. The research has shed light on three priority directions for action, namely building Hong Kong into a more friendly city for people of different ages; encouraging the elderly to participate in community activities; and promoting social inclusion.
Under the project, APIAS is responsible for conducting baseline assessment studies, arranging training activities and providing other professional support in the two districts of Tsuen Wan and Islands. Since August 2015, APIAS has collected over a thousand questionnaires and carried out ten focus groups to get the most up-to-date and community based information. Around 80 ambassadors were trained by the Institute to spread the message of age-friendly city and become facilitators throughout the coming phases.
Moving forward, the project teams will work closely with District Councils and community partners to develop three-year action plans with indicators to monitor progress.