Aging in Hong Kong: A Comparative Perspective

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Jean Woo
Springer Science & Business Media, Sep 6, 2012 - Family & Relationships - 282 pages
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With the longest life expectancy for men and the second longest for women, Hong Kong typifies our planet’s aging population. The daily lives of its older adults closely match the advantages and disadvantages experienced by urban elders in other developed countries. For these reasons, Hong Kong’s elderly serve as a salient guide to older people’s social, psychological, and healthcare needs—concerns of increasing importance as the world grows older.

Aging in Hong Kong examines this emblematic population as a case study specifically in comparison with their counterparts in the West, shedding light on diverse, interrelated currents in the aging experience. Referencing numerous international studies, the book contrasts different health service arrangements and social factors and relates them to a variety of health outcomes. Its wide-ranging coverage documents health and illness trends, reviews age-friendly policy initiatives, relates health literacy to patients’ active role in their own care, and discusses elders as an underserved group in the division of limited health funding and resources. This multiple focus draws readers’ attention to policies that need revisiting or retooling as chapters analyze major life areas including:

  • Living environment.
  • Retirement and post-retirement employment issues.
  • Financial asset management.
  • Health literacy regarding aging issues.
  • Elder-positive service delivery models.
  • Ageism in the prioritization of healthcare.
  • End-of-life issues.

By assembling such a wealth of data on its subject, Aging in Hong Kong puts ongoing challenges into clear focus for gerontologists, sociologists, health and cross-cultural psychologists, public health policymakers, and others involved in improving the quality of elders’ lives.


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Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Hong Kong and Other World Cities
Chapter 3 Living Environment
Chapter 4 Retirement and Postretirement Issues
Chapter 5 Elder Financial Asset Management
Chapter 6 Population Aging Impact of Common Chronic Diseases on Health and Social Services
Chapter 7 Health Literacy Regarding Aging Issues
Chapter 8 The Role of Empowerment in the Management of Chronic Diseases in the Elderly
Chapter 9 ElderFriendly Service Delivery Models
Chapter 10 Quality of Dying
Chapter 11 Prioritization in Health Care and Ageism

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About the author (2012)

Jean Woo, M.D., FRCP, FRACP heads the Division of Geriatric Medicine of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, is Chief of Service (general) of the Medicine and Geriatric Unit at Shatin Hospital, and is Honorary Professor, Faculty of Social Science, Hong Kong University. Dr. Woo graduated from Cambridge University in 1974. After medical posts in the Charing Cross, Hammersmith, and Brompton Hospitals, she worked in part time posts in general practice as well as research in the University of Hong Kong. She joined the Department of Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1985 as Lecturer responsible for the development of the teaching and service in Geriatric Medicine, becoming Head of the Department in 1993 until 1999, Chief of Service of the Medicine and Geriatric Unit at Shatin Hospital from 1993, and Chair Professor of Medicine in 1994. From 2000-6 she was Head of the Department of Community and Family Medicine, and from 2001-5 Director of the newly established School of Public Health. Her research interests include chronic diseases affecting elderly people, health services research, nutrition epidemiology, quality of life issues at the end of life, with over 500 articles in peer-reviewed indexed journals.