Ms. Grace Chan is the General Manager (Innovation and Technology for Ageing) of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS), which is an umbrella federation of over 450 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are providing 90% of the social welfare services through 3,000 operating units in Hong Kong. Grace joined the HKCSS in 2006. Before that she has worked as a Chief Officer (Elderly Service) in HKCSS and the Service Supervisor on elderly service in the Hong Kong Salvation Army for 20 years.
Ms. Chan sits on a number of networks, committees and appeal boards in the statutory bodies of the Hong Kong SAR and Hospital Authority, under Administration Wing and Home Affairs Bureau. In 2013, she was appointed as a member of Consumer Council. She also joined the Elderly Commission as a member in 2013. Apart from this, Grace is formally invited as a member of the Strategic Advisory Group for the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities. Ms. Grace Chan’s first involvement in International Federation on Ageing (IFA) was 10 years ago. At present, Grace is a member in the IFA Board of Directors and she also serves as the Regional Vice President (Innovation and Technology).
Ms. Grace Chan was born and raised in Hong Kong and her educational background includes Disability Studies under Health and Behavior Science in Australia, and Master of Social Work in Hong Kong. Her concern areas include innovation and technology, dementia, caregiver, long-term care, oldest old, age-friendly city, elderly participation, lifelong learning social inclusion, service-related policy and research. Grace has devoted herself to the elderly service for 20 years. In 2000, she is awarded The Outstanding Social Worker in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong: Gerontology Landscape – The Adoption Engine (Part II)
The ageing population is a global phenomenon that challenges our values and commitment to sustainable social development. Many countries are exploring different ways to enhance the well being of their senior citizens. Moreover, amongst those methods, the adoption of innovation and gerontechnology stands out as most promising. Gerontechnology refers to the applications of design and new technologies to promote independent living and autonomy in the older adults while strengthening the support of their networks. Comparing to the overseas countries or regions, Gerontechnology in Hong Kong is still in at its infant stage. There is even a lack of an overview of existing gap and hurdles in this subject area. With the funding support of the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund), The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) has partnered with Our Hong Kong Foundation (OHKF) to conduct a “Landscape Study of Hong Kong’s Gerontechnology” earlier. It collected the views of stakeholders and enhanced their understanding of gerontechnology and its application of innovations to meet the current and future demand for elderly care. According to the findings of the Gerontechnology Landscape Report, there are numerous hurdles for Hong Kong to adopt more technology and innovation in addressing the ageing population phenomenon. While acknowledging those obstacles, the market for Gerontechnology and elderly care products in Hong Kong had enormous potential. A joint effort in developing a coherent vision shared amongst industry, policymaker, innovators, investors, professionals, operators, caregivers and user communities should be in high priority. This study has successfully highlighted the opportunities, challenges, advantages, and gaps in the social and gerontechnology sector and silver economy. Products and services derived from gerontechnology can enhance the living quality of the elderly and relieve the pressure of their caregivers. In the presentation, some examples of how the stakeholders work together to turn challenges into opportunities will be shared. As an adoption engine, HKCSS will continue support innovations for our city and help brilliant ideas thrive while bringing a pleasant living to the elderly in their later years.