Elderly to be relocated from home with bucket toilets

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 September, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 September, 2004, 12:00am

Residents are being temporarily moved out of a home for the elderly where gastroenteritis broke out after they were forced to use buckets as toilets.

The residents of the Shui Oi Convalescent Home in Waterloo Road, Kowloon, are being relocated by the Health, Welfare and Food Bureau to another centre in Sai Kung.

The Social Welfare Department has stopped new admissions to the Waterloo Road home while a kitchen and toilets are built.

Three residents were moved yesterday to the Cheung Muk Tai Holiday Centre for the Elderly in Sai Kung and the bureau said the remaining residents would be relocated in the next few days.

A total of about 30 residents will be shifted.

Residents had been forced to use buckets after all three toilets in the Shui Oi Convalescent Home were closed late last month.

The buckets were later emptied by staff at other toilets in the building.

The decision to relocate the residents followed a visit to the home by officials from the bureau, the Social Welfare Department, the Department of Health and the Buildings Department.

The bureau said it was being made 'in consideration of the well-being of the elderly'.

There has been no sign of a further outbreak of gastroenteritis that afflicted 18 residents and staff with diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain last week.

Three are in hospital in stable condition.

Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Yeoh Eng-kiong has asked the Social Welfare Department and Department of Health for a detailed report on conditions at the home within a week.

'The assessment will help the government identify problem areas and shortcomings of the present elderly home services, including disease surveillance,' a bureau spokesman said.

The government would review how to 'strengthen the system to ensure quality of care for the elderly'.

A spokeswoman for the Social Welfare Department said yesterday the property owner had locked a kitchen and all toilets in the home after a conflict with the Shui Oi management over a water leak.

The department had ordered the management to build three toilets and a kitchen, while the old ones remained locked.

She said that officials would follow up the problem between the property owner and the elderly home.