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HK Electric Encourages Elders to Care for Elders

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HK Electric Encourages Elders to Care for Elders

30 Sep 2010

About 300 volunteers from three elderly service agencies were today appointed ambassadors to help identify "hidden" senior citizens in their community and extend love and care to them.

The ambassadors will be participating in this year's "CAREnival for the Elderly" programme jointly organised by HK Electric, The Hong Kong Society for the Aged, Aberdeen Kai-Fong Welfare Association Social Service Centre and St. James' Settlement. While encouraging single elders to reach out and ask for assistance when needed, the programme also intends to widen their social network and introduce to them services available in the community.

Ambassadors will be provided basic training to enhance their knowledge about hidden elders and their communicating skills. Every ambassador is expected to invite three to five senior citizens to join service centres, bringing an anticipated 1,000 to 1,500 into the elderly social service network. Similar to the previous year, HK Electric volunteers will partner with their elderly counterparts in monthly home visits.

Speaking at today's Ambassadors Appointment Ceremony, Operations Director of HK Electric, Mr. Yuen Sui-see, said: "HK Electric has been working closely with the three elderly service agencies for the past two years. Last year, we extended our care to more than 1,500 elderly living alone through district-based carnivals and monthly home visits."

"Assessing the programme, more than 600 elderly who took part were interviewed and most of them remembered the key message - 'Don't be afraid of bothering others'", said Mr. Yuen, "More encouraging still, over 70% of the interviewees said they had sought help in the past year when they had problems."

The interviews also indicated that more than 50% of the respondents have since joined an elderly service centre, while over 80% have used services provided by elderly centres, taken part in centre activities or encouraged others to seek help when needed.

"In view of such favourable response, we decided to take the project further by engaging more elderly volunteers," said Mr. Yuen.

Appointing the ambassadors today, Deputy Director (Services) of Social Welfare Department, Mr. Cheung Hing-wah, said he was pleased to note the business sector was collaborating with the social service sector for such a meaningful and sustainable cause. He noted that the programme's objective is in line with government's emphasis on caring for hidden elders, and commended it for engaging the elderly in helping fellow elders.

The volunteers sprang into action immediately after the ceremony, handing out leaflets and encouraging other elderly to join social service centres. A booklet introducing services for the elderly on Hong Kong Island has also been produced for distribution during the year.

Mr. Cheung Hing-wah (third from right) witnesses the signing of a charter by HK Electric’s Mr. Yuen Sui-see (second from left) and representatives from three elderly service agencies, who pledge to care for single elders in the community.

Mr. Cheung Hing-wah (third from right) witnesses the signing of a charter by HK Electric's Mr. Yuen Sui-see (second from left) and representatives from three elderly service agencies, who pledge to care for single elders in the community.

Three ambassador representatives pictured with Mr. Cheung Hing-wah (far right).

Three ambassador representatives pictured with Mr. Cheung Hing-wah (far right).

More than 300 elder volunteers are appointed ambassadors to care for single and hidden elders on Hong Kong Island.

More than 300 elder volunteers are appointed ambassadors to care for single and hidden elders on Hong Kong Island.

Ambassadors pledge to help identify single and hidden elders and connect them with local social service networks.

Ambassadors pledge to help identify single and hidden elders and connect them with local social service networks.

A thematic drama is developed to educate elders on the programme’s key message- “Don’t be afraid to bother others” and call for senior citizens to seek help when needed.

A thematic drama is developed to educate elders on the programme's key message - "Don't be afraid to bother others" and call for senior citizens to seek help when needed.

An ambassador hands out leaflets to encourage other elderly to join social service centres.

An ambassador hands out leaflets to encourage other elderly to join social service centres.