Creating a smarter ‘silver’ future in Hong Kong and China

Queensland aged-care businesses were in Hong Kong in November to attend a conference on building smarter cities to meet the needs of an increasingly ‘silver’ (senior) population.

The Australian Silver Industry Group, a Queensland consortium of aged-care providers, was in town for an international conference on ‘Building a Smart and Liveable City for an Ageing Community’.

The conference, organised by the Hong Kong Housing Society, heard from aged-care experts from Hong Kong, China, Japan and Europe.

All speakers emphasised the importance of cities being accessible and liveable for both young and older residents, incorporating technology and design to enhance safety and convenience.

They also advocated for the concept of ‘ageing in place’ (allowing older people to age at home or in their communities) to help economies manage the growing pressures of fast-ageing populations.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Hong Kong Julie-Anne Nichols said the region was ramping up its planning to meet the challenges of an ageing population.

‘Like many other places, Hong Kong is facing the health, housing and social challenges of an ageing population,’ she said.

‘In fact, in 2017, Hong Kong residents were officially declared the world’s longest-living population, with an average lifespan of 87.32 years for women and 81.24 years for men.

‘By 2043, close to 36% of Hong Kong’s population is expected to be 65 years or above, and 10% will be aged 85 years and above.

‘Queensland aged-care providers are ideally positioned to bring their expertise to the Hong Kong market to meet this emerging need.’

The Australian Silver Industry Group is a consortium made up of 7 Queensland companies with expertise ranging from designing, building and managing aged-care facilities to telehealth and nutrition.

The consortium members continued to meetings in Beijing and Guangzhou after attending the Hong Kong conference.

The Australian Silver Industry Group was brought together by TIQ in early 2018 as an initiative of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Consortium members participated in a previous TIQ mission to China earlier this year, while a delegation of aged-care managers from Hong Kong and China came to Queensland in June.

Members of that Asian delegation are now working with the Australian Silver Industry Group to procure Queensland products and services.

The article was originally published here.