Dr. Ernest Chui Wing Tak
Associate Professor, Department of Social Work
and Social Administration, HKU
Twenty years ago, study centres on ageing were limited; back then the Chinese University of Hong Kong focused their work on medical care, and we focused on psychosocial wellbeing and were going for diverse
and all-round care as each of the directors has his/her own research focuses. Mine is policies, especially
housing policies. The Hong Kong Housing Society was in the process of launching its Senior Citizen Residences Scheme with Jolly Place and Cheerful Court incorporating elderly care and social engagement into housing services. CoA was commissioned to do research on the scheme. From early on the team has been studying the feasibility, justification and advantages for elders in Hong Kong to resettle in mainland China, as the government has commissioned us to conduct research on the cross-border welfare arrangements for local elders retiring permanently in Guangdong or Fujian. This involves issues on retirement in Hong Kong and mainland China; is it possible for Hong Kong citizens to spend their retired years in the mainland? In social sciences studies, we examine social problems from a macroscopic viewpoint. The elderly population is growing and services are never enough, there are senior citizens who had passed away before they could move into an elderly care home. There will always be a gap to fill. What we can do is to formulate insights for future trends. This is what we have always been doing, and this has always been our strong suit; we have long been advocating targeted strategies, from age-friendly city initiatives to reverse mortgaging and cross-border social security.The silver hair market has also got the attention of the government. Research has been done on how to make the labour market more age-friendly and how the business sector may further explore the market of elderly related products. It is nonetheless a rather forwardlooking kind of research that may prove to be useful for Hong Kong in the near future.