Caregivers need better training
Recently, a caregiver who badly ill-treated an elderly woman was given a six-month jail term and ordered to pay HK$3,000 in compensation. Many people are concerned about the quality of the homes for the elderly. The Social Welfare Department says it has implemented several measures to prevent abuses at these centres.
The department will investigate whether the homes have violated regulations under the Enhanced Bought Place Scheme. If there are any irregularities, the department could enforce penalties, such as a reduction in subsidies or the number of places it buys from the homes.
Many people believe caregivers should receive better training. Looking after elderly people is stressful because staff have to pay attention all the time and do multiple tasks.
In most homes, each caregiver needs to take care of about 30 residents. Therefore, it is important that staff are well-trained, especially those who have to look after people with illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease.
Besides, the Elderly Commission has proposed a grading system for privately run old people's homes. It also wants to look into allowing families to top up welfare subsidies so the elderly can have a choice of moving into homes with better facilities.
The demand for such homes will continue to increase because of Hong Kong's ageing population. The government must ensure that with the rising demand, there won't be a drop in the quality of services offered by the homes.
Lam Man-yuk, Kit Sam Lam Bing Yim Secondary School
Best 'gift' for under-achievers
Students with poor exam results turn to their family for encouragement. Home is their safe haven from the pressures of school life, but some parents do not see it that way.
They criticise their under-achieving children without thinking about their feelings. This is like adding insult to injury. Parents should not scold their children for getting low marks in exams.
All of us want to have good results, but criticism doesn't help. The key is to find out the causes, and seek ways to improve.
Parents should encourage their children and ask them to work harder next time.
Benjamin Chan, Pooi To Middle School
The Wong Tai Sin District Council launched a 'Clean Hong Kong Day' campaign recently.
It was aimed at raising public awareness about the city's pollution problems.
We can do a lot to improve our environment. We can reduce the use of plastic bags by bringing our own bags when we go shopping. We can also put used items in recycling bins and sort the rubbish before throwing it away.
To save energy, we can turn off the lights when we leave a room. In addition, we can switch off all electrical appliances when not in use and keep the air-conditioner at 25.5 degrees Celsius during the summer.
With a joint effort, we can tackle pollution easily.
Tong Ka-ling, Buddhist Ching Kok Secondary School
Only the best will survive
Life is like a game of football. Think of the substitutes who are waiting to show their skills in front of thousands of spectators. On the other hand, the players in the field are trying their utmost to win the game. Only the best players will continue to represent their club or country.
We are in a similar situation. We are waiting for an opportunity to prove our abilities at school or at work.
We should be well-prepared to face intense competition in a tough economic environment.
The world has changed a lot over the past few decades. Unless we improve our all-round skills, we would be left behind.