The government is committed to promoting a variety of older people policies, but the older peoples are always in the neglected group.
They are confronting different psychological and physical problems. There are three serious problems of the older peoples. Firstly, the situation of older people suffering from discrimination is getting worse. Most of them are confronting with ageism which refers to identifies them as a weaker thus discriminates against their ideological behavior. In the research on age discrimination in employment, it shows that aged 50 and above respondents being particularly susceptible to age-discriminatory treatment which including by paid lower salaries and denied advancement opportunities (Equal Opportunities Commission, 2016). As a result, the older people are affected by long-term psychological pressure which leads them always think that they are the social burdens and felt disappointed with the prospects as well as reducing the participation in social activities. Secondly, Hong Kong’s old-age poverty has become a serious social problem.
According to the Hong Kong Poverty Situation report (2016), there were over 330,000 elders defined as poor, with a poverty rate about 31.6% which was more than double of the overall figure. Most of them became poverty because of they lack subsidies for living, their savings cannot catch up with the economic inflation and no economic income, it’s difficult to be self-reliance due to the company prefers recruiting younger people more than older people. Actually, poverty is no general agreed definition.
Piachaud mentioned that poverty is a moral issue, which refers to unacceptable difficulties. (Blakemore & Griggs, 2007, p.99) Moreover, poverty might refer to denudation of material such as goods and services and a poor living standard, inequality of economic position because of low income, finite resources and low social class and lack of entitlement for social position of the poor, dependency and received the social exclusion. Also, it can be divided into two parts which were absolute poverty and relative poverty. For the Hong Kong’s old-age poverty which is achieved the relative poverty, which means that they are not enough resources to maintain the diet for their life and the participate in the social activities. (Townsend, 1979, p.
31) Therefore, the poverty of the older people is one of the problems that the government need to be concern. Thirdly, the community care of older people is inadequate, for example the number of Residential Care Homes is not enough. According to the Higgins (1989), he mentioned that community care refers to the provide care for those people in need in the community, including elderly, disabled, mentally ill and the people with learning disabilities. The providers can be divided in formal and informal sectors which were the government and family. In the research of Hong Kong SAR Government Social Welfare Department (2017), which shows that there are total numbers of about 38 000 older people are applying for various types of subsidized residential care services in 2017 and the average waiting times for different type of subsidized Residential Care Homes for the elderly were increased to 36 months. Therefore, about 6000 older people having passed away while on the waiting lists. (Legislative Council Secretariat, 2015) Form this, the services for older people are imperfect.