By 2038, 1 in 3 people in Hong Kong will be aged 65 or above. This rapidly aging population has been posing challenges and burdens locally, particularly upon the social welfare and healthcare sectors. Many residential care homes are facing “manpower shortage” when only 80% of existing positions within the eldercare service industry have been filled by a workforce that is over 52 years of age in average. With “aging in place” as a concept increasingly being embraced by the older generation, a corresponding scale-up of community care will demand additional manpower as well.
To solve the current challenge, there is a need to broaden the profile of people who would be willing to join and flourish in the industry. The D. H. Chen Foundation (the “Foundation”) and Generation Hong Kong (“GenHK”), a McKinsey-founded nonprofit with expertise in developing and implementing targeted training and placement programs for sectors with a shortage in labor, have joined hands in creating Guardians of the Silver Age 銀齡守護者 (“the Program”), an initiative that is exploring the establishment of a new eco-system in matching talents and employers for the eldercare service industry.
The Program aims to sow the seeds on a new direction towards replenishing the eldercare sector with a reliable source of committed and compassionate new youth and middle-age joiners to become highly qualified non-clinical care workers at the sector. The Program is comprised of training including innovative gerontechnology, job placement, mentorship, and alumni support components. It centers not only on the technical proficiency of the learners upon graduation, but also on their behavioral and mindset change in the process, offering them a holistic and compassion-based point of view in the value of their role towards enabling the wellbeing of older adults, and bringing peace of mind to their daily lives.
Recognizing the importance of multi-partner co-creation in the process, the Program also extends beyond a sole focus on the quality and mindset of learners, but also an alignment with employers and training programs as well. The Foundation believes that an active engagement of employers in curriculum design, software / hardware support to learners and program delivery partners in values alignment and fitting the needs of employers and learners, is key to the Program’s implementation and projected success. It is our hope that, through the efforts of the Foundation and GenHK, we can foster innovative thinking and exchanges among these stakeholders to tackle the sector’s pain points together.
All in all, the Foundation hopes that, by involving multiple stakeholders to leverage their expertise and experience, the Program will pave the way towards delivering first-rate, compassionate care that our older generation justly deserves, in order for them to enjoy a high quality of life and holistic well-being.
More program details: https://hongkong.generation.org/eldercare/