Third batch of Silver Bond accepts subscription next Wednesday

The third batch of Silver Bond will be open to people aged 65 or above for subscription on 28 November next Wednesday; it will end at 2:00pm on 6 December.  The Bond will be launched officially on 17 December.  The target issuance size of this batch is HK$3 billion in a three-years tenor.  Holders will be paid an interest at the rate linked to local inflation once every six months, subject to a minimum rate of 3%.  There will not be any secondary market for Silver Bond.  Bond holders can sell their bond before maturity to the Government at the original price together with the accumulated interest.  Applications for the bond can be made through 20 placing banks and 15 designated securities brokers
Convenient arrangements for seniors to change new Smart ID

The Hong Kong SAR Government has announced on 18 October that the replacement of new Smart ID will commence on 27 December 2018.  The Immigration Department will provide the following arrangements for seniors to change their Smart ID conveniently.  Nine Smart ID Replacement Centres will also be set up in Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and New Territories for providing services from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm.
  1. People who apply for new Smart ID during the replacement period designated for their age group can bring along two family members or friends aged 65 or above for changing to new Smart ID.
  2. Seniors who consider that going to the Smart ID Replacement Centres in person will be harmful to their health or that of others may apply in writing to the Commissioner of Registration for exemption.  The letter should be addressed to: ROP General & Statistics Unit, Room 1201, 12/F, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong.
  3. On-site identity card replacement service will be provided in the second quarter of 2019 for seniors who live in specified residential care homes; this will be expanded to all residential care homes in Hong Kong in phases.
Consumer Council tested calcium contained in Tofu

The Consumer Council announced on 15 October the testing result of nutrition contained in 40 bean curd samples.  The test conducted on 36 packaged hard and soft bean curd and six plate bean curd found a vast variation of nutrient content.  The nutrition label of packaged bean curd even did not tally with the testing result.
While protein in all the samples complied with the requirements of the CODEX Alimentarius Commission, the protein levels ranged from the highest of 9.4g/100g to the lowest of 3.6g/100g.  According to the Taiwan’s Standard for Packaged Soybean Curd (CNS12729), the protein level in hard bean curd should be above 8% and soft bean curd above 4.3%.  Only two of the eight packaged hard bean curd and four of the 26 soft bean curd met this standard.  The average protein content was 5.5%.  Vegetarians who take bean curd as their main source of protein should consider the amount of bean curd required everyday for enough protein intake.
The calcium content also varied significantly in packaged bean curd and ranged from 16g to 420g in 100g bean curd.  The average calcium content in plate bean curd was 122g/100g and was double that of the calcium content of packaged bean curd.

Supportive Measures for Seniors in 2018 Policy Address

The following are supportive measures for seniors announced in the 2018 Policy Address:
  • Pilot implementation of  “Flat for Flat Pilot Scheme for Elderly Owners” recommended by the Hong Kong Housing Society 
  • Provide 2000 additional places under the Enhanced Home and Community Care Services
  • Offer 1000 additional vouchers under the Second Phase of the Pilot Scheme on Community Care Service Voucher for the Elderly
  • Extend the Old Age Living Allowance to Hong Kong seniors choosing to reside in Guangdong and Fujian Provinces
  • Expand the target beneficiaries of the Community Care Fund Elderly Dental Assistance Programme to cover seniors receiving Old Age Living Allowance aged 65 or above
Eldertreks Hong Kong inviting seniors as tour guides

ElderTrek is a community guided tour platform founded by 4 undergraduates.  They were the winner of the Social Innovation CEO Competition held by the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund and in 2016, and won a reward of one hundred and seventy thousand dollars.   They used the reward as a startup fund and founded ElderTrek in 2017 to organize localized cultural guided tour for local people and tourists while providing job opportunities for seniors.
ElderTrek’s tours are led by a senior and assisted by a youngster.  During the one-hour tour, they will introduce the history and their own stories in places like Tze Wan Shan, Mong Kok, Jordan and Yau Ma Tei.  The younger generation can understand more about both Hong Kong and the older generation through the tours.  ElderTrek is now inviting seniors to be tour guides.  People who are interested can contact them through their website. 
Consumer Council found carcinogen in margarine

The Consumer Council has tested 30 prepackaged butter, including 9 butter, 16 margarine, 4 butter and vegetable oils blended fat spread and 1 shortening.  18 margarine samples contain genotoxic carcinogen glycidol.  16 of these margarine samples were detected with contaminant 3-MCPD which can affect kidneys and male genital organs with long-term intake.
Although the fat content in margarine is relatively lower than butter, most samples were found to contain 60g to 70g, except 3 were found to contain 40g per 100g.  One sample even contains 81.4g similar to the average of butter samples.
The Consumer Council also found that most samples did not describe the nutrient contents on the labels correctly.  50% of the nutrition labels were seriously inconsistent with the nutrient claim.
Young olds encouraged to go back to career
(Chinese version only)

The Government has made changes continuously to the following policies to encourage healthy seniors aged 50 to 64 and young old aged 65 to 74 to go back to work.
  1. Extended the upper age limit of Category B security work from 65 to 70.
  2. Extended the retirement age of civilian staff and disciplined services staff, appointed on or after 1 June 2015, to 65 and 60 respectively.
  3. Provide $4000 on-the-job monthly training allowance, for a period of 6 to 12 months, to employers engaging senior unemployed job seekers or those aged 60 or above who have left employment.
Plain breakfast no good to senior’s health

The Hong Kong Health Care Alliance and The Hong Kong Association of Gerontology interviewed 268 seniors last December about their attitude towards breakfast.  Only 16% of them would consider the nutrition of breakfast, and 70% thought white bread and plain porridge were healthy diet.  Some preferred to take less protein for breakfast on account of slow metabolism, while those who were under diet control for chronic diseases preferred plain food for breakfast.  Dr Leung Man Fuk, Geriatric Medicine and Director of the Hong Kong Association of Gerontology, said that one’s physique gets smaller when one grows old, and the symptoms of malnutrition may not be obvious.  He suggests that seniors should check their BMI index regularly.  The standard should be around 18.5 to 23, and there may be problems if it drops 5% in 3 to 6 months.  Joanne Chan, registered dietitian, said seniors should take in more protein as their muscle loss is faster than young people.  Learn more from our website at “Dining”- Healthy Eating.

Elderly Health Centres of Department of Health provide health assessment service

The Department of Health has set up 18 Elderly Health Centres in Hong Kong to meet senior citizens’ multiple health needs by providing integrated primary health care services.  It includes preventive, promotive and curative care.  Seniors aged 65 or above can register as a member for free with their address identity document and personal information in the centre of their region.  The charge for health assessment is only $110, and the charges for other services are also very favourable.  Details about the health assessment and other services are available in the “FAQ” in the Elderly Health Service website.


Photo source: MSN
DoctorNow NEEDS offers house call medical service for seniors

DoctorNow NEEDS is a medical sharing platform which provides house call service for seniors.  To ensure timely proper medical treatment for seniors living at home or in elderly homes, the platform helps to match seniors with the available doctors of their region to offer house call when needed.  Seniors can also ask for online video consultation service without leaving their places if they want to.  The prescription pills will be delivered to seniors in 30 minutes.  Doctors who join the DoctorNow NEEDS platform can also provide physician visit, holiday consultation, special clinic consultation, annual body check for seniors, physical restraint assessment and case referral for the elderly homes.  Please call 3521 1564 or whatsapp 97106150 for their services.
DoctorNow NEEDS was founded in 2016 by a group of registered doctors and health care professionals who are eager for serving the society; it has been registered as a social enterprise.  They hope seniors can receive timely medical service through this platform to reduce the need for going to emergency wards or being hospitalized.  This will relieve the burden on the public health care system.

Finding Missing Elderly with Dementia Mobile App developed by Jockey Club Centre for Positive Ageing help searching for lost dementia relative

The Finding Missing Elderly with Dementia Mobile Apps is developed by the Jockey Club Centre for Positive Ageing.  It is specially designed for looking for missing elderly with dementia.  The Centre was founded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club in June 2008 and is operated by The Chinese University of Hong Kong.  It provides one-stop integrative training services for patients with dementia to delay their decline so as to maintain a normal social life.  The Centre also offers supportive services to relieve the pressure of carers.
The Finding Missing Elderly with Dementia Mobile Apps is one of their services.  Family members can register the dementia patient’s information and his/her photo in the apps beforehand.  They can then report the loss of the dementia elderly through the apps in the future.  Members of the public can also download the apps and register as “Dementia Angel” to help find the missing elderly.  The downloading is free!

Know more about Chinese and Western medical treatments through “Integrative Medicine Clinical Evidence Portal”

The Integrative Medicine Clinical Evidence Portal is a Chinese and Western Medical treatment website created by The Chinese University of Hong Kong.  It collects the clinical peer randomized trials reviews and systematic reviews about common treatments in the market such as the effectiveness of Echinacea in treating common flu, the effect of acupuncture on cancer treatment, and whether Taichi exercise can improve senior’s sleeping quality?  Readers can understand more about Western, Chinese or other treatments in curing diseases from the science perspective.  This website also contains online training materials on evidence-based healthcare principles and clinical research methodology.  The consultation team is formed by medical professionals including Prof Lin Zhixiu, Director of Hong Kong Institute of Integrative Medicine; Prof. Justin CY Wu, Associate Dean (Development) of Faculty of Medicine; Prof. Leung Ting Hung, Director of School of Chinese Medicine.  Readers can search for  information through the two categories of “Intervention” or “Physical condition” under “Synopsis Database” according to their personal conditions. 

Government announced details of Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme

The Government has announced the details of the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme(VHIS) on 1 March 2018.  It aims at enhancing the protection of individual hospital insurance by regulating the products under VHIS which provides new and more comprehensive coverage to the public.  The products offered by participating insurance companies should cover the following protections:
  • Guaranteed renewal up to age 100 (no re-underwriting)
  • No limit for “Lifetime benefit”
  • 21-day cooling off period
  • Coverage extended to:
    • Unknown pre-existing conditions
    • Ambulatory procedure, including endoscopy
    • In-patient psychiatric treatment, etc.
VHIS includes lifelong renewal guarantee.  The Government will make legislative amendments to allow for tax deduction for premiums paid by a person and his/her dependant.  The maximum tax deduction for every insured person is $8,000 and there is no limit for the number of dependants.


photo source: Oriental Daily
First lower-floor public light bus started service in January

Hong Kong’s first lower-floor public light bus has commenced service on 26 January 2018.  It is serving Hong Kong Island green minibus route No. 54M, from Kennedy Town MTR Station to Queen Mary Hospital.
There is one wheelchair space in the low-floor public light bus.  It operates from 7:00am – 12:40pm and 2:00pm to 7:40pm from Monday to Friday (no service on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays) at 30-minute intervals.  People who need the service can call the operator at 2873 6808 for appointment 14 days in advance.  Each wheelchair passenger can be accompanied by one person.
The Transport Department plans to launch two other hospital routes (Prince of Wales Hospital and St Teresa's Hospital) by phases.
Have you got the new generation Octopus yet?

The first generation On-loan Octopus will become invalid during 20 January to 17 March 2018.  Three new types of new generation On-loan Octopus have been issued as replacement.  Starting from 18 October 2017, the old cards will become invalid by batches.  If you hear “dood-dood-dood” when tapping your Octopus, please replace it for free at any Octopus Service Point located at designated MTR stations and shopping malls or designated Kowloon Motor Bus Customer Service Centres.  This prompt will last for at least three months.  Have you changed to the new one yet?

Consumer Council found dioxane in over 60% of 60 shampoo models

The Consumer Council conducted tests on 60 shampoo models including 39 for general consumers, 3 for women and 7 for men, and 11 for those who have hair loss problems.  Over 60% of the models, i.e. 38 shampoos, contain 1,4-dioxane; and 20% contain allergy-causing preservatives.  In the shampoo containing dioxane, one is for users with thinning hair or hair loss problem.  While the shampoo with 1,4-dioxane do not pose safety risks to users, it may cause tautness and dryness for some people if not rinsed thoroughly.


Source of Photo: Apple Daily 
Smart Living Experience Tour in Science Park

Smart Living@Science Park has been established in the Hong Kong Science Part in Sha Tin.  It is a 500-feet show flat with living room, bedroom, kitchen and toilet.  Visitors can try the thoughtful products designed by local designers and technology companies including the Sit and Shower chair,  360 degree rotating electric wheelchair,  pressure measuring watch,  ring for pre-screening of potential obstructive sleep apnea, etc.  Applications for guided tours from individuals and groups are welcome.


Source of the photo: Wen Wei Po
Get tickets by swiping Home-visit permits at 215 Express Rail stations in China

Holders of home-visit permits may now get their online railway tickets or buy tickets at designated self-help ticketing machines at 215 Express Rail Link stations in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Shandong, Hunan and Guangdong, etc.


Call and Care Service connects to Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital

The Senior Citizen Home Safety Association has signed a partnership with the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital for medical services to be provided to Call and Care Service users living or travelling in Shenzhen.  The patient’s medical information will also be sent to the Hospital to facilitate timely response with immediate notification to the emergency contact of elderly users.  The first phase of this service will be launched in July 2017.  Elderly users who need medical help can press the “Safety Button” on their e-Care Link remote to connect to the Association’s 24-hours Call and Care Centre in Hong Kong through roaming services provided by the mobile network service operators.

The fourth CancerLink Support Centre Open for Service

CancerLink is one of the supportive services of Cancer Fund.  The fourth centre is now open in Wong Tai Sin to help  cancer patients.  Cancer patients, recovered patients, and their families and friends are welcome to learn more about coping with cancer.

Beware of Phone Scam

Beware and don’t believe in phone messages from people claiming to be from the Immigration Department, transferring calls to law enforcement agencies outside Hong Kong, and requesting information such as bank account numbers and passwords.
Life Time Annuity Scheme

The Mortgage Corporation will launch a Life Time Annuity Scheme in the middle of next year to provide lifetime payouts for people aged 65 or above.  Participants will pay a lump-sum premium, from a minimum of $50,000 to a maximum of $1 million.  Based on internal rates of return in the range of 3% to 4%, the monthly fixed payout for male annuitants at the age of 65 will be between $5,000 to $5,800 per $100,000 premium paid, corresponding to annuity rates of 6% to 7%.  On account of longer life expectancy, female annuity rates of 5.4% to 6.4%.  The scheme will ensure that elderly will have a regular monthly income for their lifetime. To learn more about Life Annuity Scheme, please refer to the HKMC’s press release.