Hong Kong is urgently looking for innovative and pragmatic measures to manage all daunting changes posed by ageing population. Among the challenges, one has long been ignored and received relatively little attention and resources and that is the deteriorating wellbeing of carers of elderly. Besides having to digest copious information to make countless important decisions on treatment and care, carers of the elderly are also competing with time to identify the limited long-term services available in the market.
In view of the immense physical, emotional and social strains borne by these carers throughout their caregiving journeys, local non-governmental organizations (“NGOs”) and funders are eager to leverage social and technological innovations, especially information technology (“infotech”), to alleviate carers’ daily struggles and more importantly, identify and fill respective service gaps.
The D. H. Chen Foundation is delighted to commence a pioneering collaboration with our close and dedicated partner St. James’ Settlement (“SJS”) of establishing the 656Carer.com Online Platform (the “656 Platform”) with a two-fold objective: to better the wellbeing of the elderly and their family carers by fostering the accessibility to interim caring solutions, as well as to use the data generated from the platform to measure carers’ and elderly’s wellness and advocate for policy change to improve current service provision.
The 656 Platform aims to offer local carers, social workers and community members simple, customized and instant care advice and on-demand follow-up service from three unique infotech components: a responsive, interactive and round-the-clock Chatbot; a live chat system with retired professionals; and an exchange forum administered by an experienced elderly care worker. In Phase I, the 656 Platform focuses on providing caregiving resources for elderly who are suffering from dementia, stroke and fall & fracture.
As the first program of the Foundation to capitalize on infotech to advance our philanthropic efforts and drive data philanthropy in the sector, it is hoped that the program, on one hand fills a critical service gap with the aim to enhance elderly’s and carers’ wellbeing, on the other hand offers excellent opportunity to explore the power of data science in driving strategic philanthropy and such application in the other focus areas.
The 656 Platform is expected to be launched in mid-2020. Please visit its website and Facebook page for more update: