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Residential Care Service in Hong Kong

Before looking for an old age home

Before looking for an old age home, it is important to assure that the medical condition of the older person has been evaluated thoroughly. Some older persons may be allowed to remain at their own home with either their conditions being properly treated or community support services given to them. As many older people prefer to live in their own familiar environment, it is essential to explore any other alternatives to old age home. Sometimes, there may be a need to seek help from social worker concerning the residential care for the elderly. The willingness of the older person should always be taken into account if he or she is capable of making the choice.


Related website of Social Welfare Department

How to select a suitable old age home

Once the need for old age home is indicated, the selection of an old age home for the older person is important for meeting his/her needs and expectations. Some factors such as bed availability, provision of services & facilities that needed by the older person, affordability, service quality, location, and so on should be considered when evaluating your choices. Remember to choose old age homes with licence granted by Social Welfare Department. It is worthwhile to visit several old age homes for comparisons and go along with the older person if possible. You may also visit the homes a second and third time during weekends or evenings for getting a more thorough picture on the staffing and service provisions in different times. The following is a checklist that you can print it out and take along with you during your visit to help your evaluation.

Checklist for evaluating old age homes  (Link)


•  Does the home have the licence granted by Social Welfare Department
which needed to be posted in sight?

•  Does the home display the Business Registration Certificate and other
insurance related certificates?


•  Is the home spacious enough for movement & activity?

•  Are there handrails installed in hallways, toilets & bathrooms for aiding
mobility of the residents?

•  If the home is not located on ground floor, is there a lift available for access by
the residents?

•  Are there sufficient emergency exits, fire alarms, smoke detectors & sprinkler

•  Are there simple exercise equipment & recreational facilities?


•  Is the lighting adequate in residents' rooms, common areas & all the

•  Does the home have good ventilation?

•  Is the home clean? Are the floors free from spills & rubbish?

•  Is there no odor around the home?

•  Is the home located in a place which is easily accessed? Is there any
restaurant, shopping store or open area nearby?


•  Is there sufficient manpower to serve the residents especially in evenings &

•  Do the staff treat the residents respectfully? Do the staff communicate well
with the residents & visitors?


•  Is there a written description of fees listing the basic charge & any additional
charges e.g. escort service, diapers, laundry, etc.?

•  Is there a written guidance on withdrawal procedure listing details for
reimbursement for deposit & application fees?

•  Are there clear documentation & payment procedure for keeping record of the
services received by the resident?


•  Are the meals adequate in amount & variety? Does it concern balanced diet?

•  Does the menu offer choices for residents with special needs, such as those
with diabetes, vegetarian or swallowing difficulty?

•  Is the staff there to help the residents with difficulty in feeding during

Services and Additional Services

•  Is the quality of services up to standard? Are the lifting & caring techniques

•  Is there any registered or enrolled nurse responsible for the delivery of

•  Is there any visiting medical officer providing consultation on a regular basis?

•  Are there any physiotherapist, occupational therapist & social worker
providing related services to residents?

•  Are there recreational activities, group activities & volunteer visits held
regularly? Is there any monthly activity calendar?

•  Is escort service provided and how is the charge?

•  Is there any staff training provided on a regular basis?

•  Is there special arrangement for residents with religious or cultural need?

•  Is there special arrangement for residents with dementia?


•  Is there any facility to prevent residents with cognitive impairment from
wandering outside?

•  Are the residents' personal items being well protected?

Reference: 選擇安老院舍小貼士 (社會福利署出版) 、非一般的照顧「家居護老者手冊」 (救世軍安老服務部出版)

Hong Kong Association of Gerontology (Chinese Only)
   ( 列出通過評審的院舍名單及資料)

Further Information about RSHE in Social Welfare Department

Practical advice for adapting to old age home

For the older persons

•  Have a visit before moving to the old age home in order to have a basic understanding on the daily routine
and environment of the old age home.

•  Share your feelings or worries frankly with your families, friends or social worker.

•  Acknowledge that it is normal to have a short period of time for adaptation to the changing of living

•  After moving to old age home, try to be familiar yourself with its daily routine and environment by active
participation in activities and interaction with other residents.

•  Remember to talk to staff and families when you encounter any difficulty in the home.

For the family members

•  Involve your elder in the decision making process for choosing old age homes.

•  Concern your elder's worries and encourage expression of feelings or fear and clarify for any

•  Keep close contact with your elder by paying regular visits or having telephone contact especially during the
initial phase to prevent your elder having the feeling of being abandoned.

•  Communicate with staff or case worker for your elder so as to understand more about your elder's living in
the home.

•  Pay attention to your elder's physical & mental condition after moving to the home. Report to staff for any
abnormal change detected so that your elder can be referred to get appropriate assessment and treatment.

•  Treat your elder as a family member of your family even after moving to the home and let him or her know
about the family issues.

Residential homes database

List of residential care homes provided by Social Welfare Department
This link provides updated lists of subsidized residential services, non-subsidized residential services, private homes for the elderly participating in Enhanced Bought Place Scheme and private homes issued with license.

Related websites

Residential Care Services for the Elderly, Social Welfare Department
Housing for Elderly Persons, Hong Kong Housing Authority
Senior Citizen Residences, Hong Kong Housing Society
Housing Society Elderly Resources Centre

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