A Study on Leisure Facilities, Service and Activities Are Suitable and Enough for Elderly in Hong Kong?

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A Study on leisure facilities, service and activities are suitable and enough for elderly in Hong Kong?

A small-scale city of China, Hong Kong, there is estimated 7,008,900 people by the end of Year 2008. And more than 13% of it will be the elderly. In view of the older population growing up at full pelt in Hong Kong, and for quickly promoting educational and economic capability, the demands of elderly leisure facilities and services increase every year. Nowadays the leisure topic for the elderly has been discussed mostly in sociology, and discovering that as age gets older the participated scope of leisure activities gets smaller, and being limited to gossip or some kinds of static leisure activities. The Hong Kong Government has replied that already provided lots of subsidy and leisure facilities among districts for the elderly, yet the life satisfactory of the elderly still lower than those live in foreign countries. In order to understand the provision of facilities, services and activities whether suitable and enough to meet the elderly needs and wants or not, and get some guidelines for the Government in providing and allocating the facilities and services, we occurred this study. There are four purposes in this study:

1) To understand the Hong Kong elderly demographic situation 2) To analyze the existing needs and demands of the leisure facilities, services and activities of the elderly. 3) To analyze if the existing facilities, services and activities enough and suitable for elderly or not. 4) To find out the elderly changing behavior and the coming trends of the elderly facilities, services and activities.

Demographic of the elderly in Hong Kong

According to the 2006 Population Census, the population of older persons increased at an average annual growth rate of 5.5% over the past 40 years. There were 850 280 older persons in Hong Kong in 2006(fig.1) occupying more than 12% of the total Hong Kong population. This implying that there are huge potential need of elderly facilities services and activities in the coming years. With reference to the report, there were slightly more female older persons than male older persons, mainly because of higher life expectancy for female. However the older men have higher average levels of education than older women. This may be attributed to the past education tradition in Chinese society of placing less importance for females to receive education. “The common leisure-time physical activities between 1985 and 1995 included jogging, cycling, swimming walking, gardening, tai chi chuan, and qigong” ( American Journal of Public Health 2001, Vol. 91 P. 1371-1376) Due to the education levels were increasing of the older persons, the future older persons’ need and want will be more different from those older persons in the past and even today. They will be more educated and the leisure program, services and facilities demand may be very various. The proportion of older persons belonging to the labour force declined steadily from 1991 to 2001. To some extent, this is attributed to the change in the general economic conditions that more and more older persons left the labour force at their sixties. The median monthly income from main employment of the working older persons in 2001 was $6,000, about 60% of the median ($10,000) of the whole working population (fig.2). This showing that older persons still have 10 to 20 years to live after their retirement. In their age of retired, they still physically health enough to participate in different leisure activities. The most important point comes to that they have sufficient purchasing power. They are available to spend money on their interested scope. There was a substantial redistribution of older persons during the last ten years. The proportion of older persons residing in the New Territories increased. For Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, the numbers of older persons...
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