Ageing handicapped lacking caregivers

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 May, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 May, 2008, 12:00am

About three quarters of ageing handicapped people in Hong Kong either do not have a caregiver or are cared for by someone over 60, the Council of Social Service says.

The council interviewed about 300 recipients of handicapped services 50 and over and found that 77 per cent lacked an adequate caregiver.

The council's acting rehabilitation chief officer, Kuo Chun-chuen, said some mentally handicapped people started to become physically impaired as they entered their 40s.

'As technology improves day by day, the lifespan of the handicapped population is also extended,' he said.

'We have to pay attention to the trend as this means a need for different services.'

Mr Kuo is responsible for a study to be published this week that has delved into different aspects of caring for the ageing intellectually disabled, the city's first such report. It notes that research and statistics are limited.

Most of the intellectually disabled rely on their parents for care, and they themselves are ageing and need some relief.