#Hashtag Hong Kong



    Listen to #Hashtag Hong Kong every Sunday morning at 8.15

    Focussing on issues affecting civil society, we'll hear from representatives of NGOs, associations, statutory bodies, and non-profit groups.

    (Sundays 8.15am - 8.25am)



    Diana Kam, Executive Director, The Hong Kong Society for the Aged and Professor Elsie Yan from Polytechnic University

    Good Morning. This is Diana from The Hong Kong Society for the Aged, to share the situation of elder abuse in Hong Kong. The Central Information System for Elder Abuse Cases of the Social Welfare Department received 318 reports in 2023. In the first quarter of 2024, 90 cases were reported. However, according to the World Health Organization, around one in six people aged 60 or above experienced some form of abuse in communities during the past year. The elderly population in Hong Kong in 2023 was around 1,570,000. It implies that more than 261,000 abuse cases may be overlooked.

    Some elder people may not be aware of being abused, or some may actively or but being forced to keep silent on their misfortunes. The elder abuse victims may fear retaliation and worry that reporting the abuse may lead to even more severe mistreatment. And some may feel ashamed or blame themselves for the abuse and therefore they are reluctant to tell others what they have experienced. At the same time, the abusers often conceal their improprieties by controlling the victims’ social activities and interaction with outsiders. The elder people may have no chance to seek help, or may be threatened, to cover the truth. In this case, the needs of elderly people being abused are neglected and they keep suffering from mistreatment.

    Elder abuse is defined as “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring in any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person”. According to the Central Information System for Elder Abuse Cases, there are three major types of elder abuse that dominate the cases reported to the system. Physical abuse means physical injuries caused by acts of violence. It usually accounts for over 70 percent of the reported abuse cases. More than 10 percent of the cases fall into psychological abuse. It refers to the behaviour or attitudes towards an elderly person that endangers or impairs his or her psychological health, for example, insulting, scolding, isolation and intimidation. And the third one is financial abuse which contributes to around 5 to 10 percent of the cases. Some examples of financial abuse are taking away an elder’s money or transferring his or her assets without consent. Other types of elder abuse include neglect, abandonment and sexual abuse. Most abusers are spouses or intimate partners of the elderly person being abused. The causes of abuse are multifaceted and can include family stress, economic difficulties, caring stress and psychological issues faced by the abusers.

    Professor Elsie Yan from the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University will share how the community and the government can help the situation.

    Hi, this is Elsie. Diana talked about how common elder abuse is in our community, so what can we do about it?

    First of all, it is important for each and every one of us to have a high sense of awareness of elder abuse. From our experience, elder abuse victims seldom seek help on their own and most cases which eventually received services were referred by people who had noticed the abuse. These include professionals, such as social workers, nurses and medical doctors, as well as lay persons such as concerned neighbours and friends, or security guards. It is important that we reach out to suspected victims proactively and offer them help.

    To achieve this goal, it is essential that we all understand signs and symptoms of abuse. Some forms of abuse have apparent symptoms and could be easily picked up. Unexplained bruises and fractures could be symptoms of physical abuse; Recurrent urinary tract infection or sexually transmitted diseases may represent sexual abuse; Malnutrition or lack of necessary appliances such as glasses and dentures may indicate neglect; Other forms of elder abuse, however, may be more difficult to detect. Although financial exploitation has no obvious symptoms, we should be alert when there is a sudden transfer of funds from seniors’ bank accounts, or unpaid bills. Seniors suffering psychological abuse may be depressed and anxious, or socially withdrawn. If fellow citizens acquire a better understanding of elder abuse and step up to help suspected victims, we could be able to provide victims with timely intervention or prevent abuse from happening altogether. At the same time, seniors need to be aware of their own rights and be empowered to seek help as necessary.

    In view of this, the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences launched the Happy Edward Project. This project was funded by the Lee Hys an Foundation. So far our project staff have identified more than 350 high risk cases from 2300 seniors. More than 100 cases have received our services which include one-on-one counselling, goal setting and empowerment exercise to increase victims’ readiness for change, health management, etc. Health and social professionals are in a very good position to help identify elder abuse cases. To support them, we provide targeted training to improve their knowledge and competence in handling elder abuse cases. Please join hands with us to combat elder abuse.

    We would like to dedicate this song What if the world by Charmaine Fong to everyone.

    23/06/2024 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    23/06/2024 - Diana Kam, Executive Director, The Hong Kong Society for the Aged and Professor Elsie Yan from Polytechnic University


    04 - 06


    L-R:  Diana Kam, Executive Director, The Hong Kong Society for the Aged and Professor Elsie Yan from Polytechnic University


    Dr. Felix Sze, Co-director and Associate Professor (Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages) CUHK


    Dr Cheng Luk Ki, Director of Green Power


    Janet Wong, from Junior Chamber International Tai Ping Shan


    Koonie Chan, Executive Board Member of Hong Kong Seeing Eye Dog Services


    Dr Joey Chan, Secretary of the Hong Kong Society of Sleep Medicine and CUHK Associate Professor (Clinical) Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK


    Dr. Anthony Ying, the Chairman of the Cancer Prevention/Early Detection Subcommittee of the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society


    iu Vor, Vice President of Hong Kong Entomological Society


    Faride Shroff, the Founder and CEO of SENsational Foundation


    Simon Wong, President of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants & Related Trades

    Maggie Lee, Executive Director of Hong Kong Alzheimer's Disease Association

    “File does not exist” …….

    “This file is corrupted and cannot be opened” …….

    These may be common problems in our daily computer use.

    Then how about the brains of people with dementia? Memory and the files in their brain are always broken and difficult to recall.


    Dementia is a degenerative disease of the brain. The deterioration usually starts very slowly, being forgetful at first. Eventually, it can develop into obvious memory loss, inability to self-care, being lost, not recognising loved ones and forgetting important moments in life.

     “Who are you?”, “Where am I?” are heartbreaking questions but repeated by people with dementia at every moment. Please remember, Dementia is not normal ageing, but a disease that causes memories to fade from the recent to distant past.


    In Hong Kong, about 10% of people over the age of 65 live with dementia, and over the age of 85 is as high as one-third. We all know that Hong Kong is facing an ageing population and the prevalence of dementia will sharply increase. There are currently about hundred and fifty thousand people living with dementia in Hong Kong. The number will double in the next 15 years. However, is Hong Kong ready for the silver tsunami?


    The development of a comprehensive plan for dementia care by our policymakers would be the crucial way out for our future. Countries or cities around us, such as China, Macau, Singapore, and Japan, have already developed national plans to prepare society for the challenges. But we are still in its infancy.


    “Never too Early, Never too Late” is the theme of World Alzheimer’s Month this year. We aim to arouse everyone’s importance on risk reduction in delaying and potentially preventing the onset of dementia. I think policy planning should also be “never too early, never too late”, We need to take action before family caregivers, and our health and social care systems collapse.


    Different interventions are effective in dementia management. It is imperative to grasp the golden opportunity in the earliest stage. Unfortunately, the diagnostic rate of dementia has remained at only 10% for the past few decades. That means the majority of the people living with dementia are still without proper interventions and support.



    Memory problems in the early stage can easily be mistaken as signs of normal ageing. Neither the people with dementia nor their families and friends realize it until more obvious problems happen in their daily lives.  Moreover, family size in Hong Kong is getting smaller and there are more and more childless couples, early symptoms may go unnoticed if people do not interact closely in day-to-day life.


    Public education to increase awareness of early signs of dementia, easily accessible diagnostic services, and shorten waiting time, all of these should be put into action.


    Dementia is referred to as the “long goodbye”, our beloved seems to be becoming a stranger slowly. In my 20 years of walking with families, I know too well how frustrating it can be when a loved one has dementia. But I keep encouraging the families to appreciate what our beloved can still do and remember, and try to keep them for as long as possible. We may worry about the next deterioration coming, but while waiting for the future, what deserves more attention is the current him/her.


    If you or your beloved are living with dementia, don’t give up. Drugs can help. Different brain-stimulating activities and caring techniques can ease the symptoms or slow down the deterioration. Equipment and technology can help to make life easier. We are here to walk through it with you. You are not alone, just let us know.


    If you are healthy, congratulations, but remember “Never too early, Never too late”, take actions to reduce the risk factors of dementia. A healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, healthy and balanced diet, stay mentally and socially active. All these can help. Please remember to use and keep your brain active or you will lose it.


    September is World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign initiated by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) to raise awareness and remove the stigma of dementia. As the sole member of ADI in Hong Kong, we invite you to join us in caring about the brain health of your families, neighbours and friends, supporting those living with dementia around you and seeing if we can help.


    Finally, I’d like to dedicate the song “I'm Not Gonna Miss You” by Glen Campbell to all people with dementia and their caregivers. The disease may take the memory, but not of the love you share and cherish.


    17/09/2023 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    17/09/2023 - Maggie Lee, Executive Director of Hong Kong Alzheimer's Disease Association