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Symposium on Medical-Social Partnership
in Promoting Palliative & End-of-life Care in Residential Settings
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It is foreseeable that the population of elderly will increase and people’s lifespan will be extended in the coming two decades. As the population is aging, the need of long-term care services for the weak elders rises. The residential services for senior citizens are required not only to develop a system for service quality management and upgrade facilities, but also to take good care of the elderly residents in the late stage with palliative care.
 
As tomorrow is the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day (10 October), The Salvation Army and the Hong Kong Association of Gerontology held a Symposium on Medical-Social Partnership in Promoting Palliative & End-of-life Care in Residential Settings this afternoon (9 October). We are honoured to have Mr Richard Yuen, JP, Permanent Secretary for Food and Health (Health), to officiate at the opening ceremony. The Salvation Army hopes to raise public concern for the terminally ill elderly and their families, as well as foster cooperation between the medical and social welfare sectors, so as to provide a more comprehensive palliative and end-of-life care service.
 
Lieut-Colonel Ian Swan, Officer Commanding of The Salvation Army, said that the Army and the Hong Kong Association of Gerontology recognised the importance of cooperation from various sectors to promote the palliative and end-of-life care service to the elderly and their families. This symposium could help facilitate the communication between the medical and social welfare sectors, hence improving elderly’s quality of life together.
 
Professor Christine Fang, the host of the discussion section, said that Hong Kong ranked 22 in the latest Quality of Death Index, lagging behind Taiwan and other developed countries. It was probably because palliative and end-of-life care has not yet been included in public policies. She suggested policy makers, management staff of public sector services and leaders of various sectors explore related strategies and resources to address this issue.
 
With funding support by ”la Caixa” Foundation and The Bank of East Asia Charitable Foundation, The Salvation Army and the Hong Kong Association of Gerontology launched the “Palliative Care in Residential Care Homes for the Elderly” (or PC Project) in 2010. It provides a new option for the residents of elderly homes to stay in the homes, a familiar environment, in the last stage of their lives. At least 10 elderly homes have joined the project. More than 300 people from medical, social welfare and academic circles took part in today’s symposium, where care workers and medical partners from four participating elderly homes shared the successful cases and their practical experiences.
 
At the symposium, the publication of “The Palliative and End-of-life Care in Residential Care Homes Practice Manual” was announced. Staff of elderly homes will be given a comprehensive guideline and useful forms regarding the preparation process, case selection and other related services for reference. The information on the handbook is based on the practical and clinical experiences of the participating elderly homes in the past five years.
 
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Symposium on Medical-Social...
Mr Richard Yuen, JP, Perman...