Customised Elderly-friendly Home Design Courtesy of the Elderly Home Improvement Community Programme
Scan to view the compliments from beneficiaries
Pilot Scheme Launched in March 2020 Benefiting Six Households
In carrying out redevelopment in various districts, the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) not only aims at revitalising the old neighbourhoods, but also seeks to improve the living conditions of affected residents, especially the elderly. In addition to arranging public housing units for their relocation, the URA launched a pilot scheme called the “Elderly Home Improvement Community Programme” in March last year to customise home design and provide elderly-friendly features to meet the changing needs of the elderly over time.
The URA partners with various organisations, including the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council, its affiliated social enterprise Kam Wah Design & Engineering Limited, and the Construction Charity Fund (CCF) Integrated Service Centre, etc. to identify residents with the most urgent need and look into their requirements. So far, five tailor-made units have been completed to creat a comfortable space that the beneficiaries can truly call homes. Renovation of one more unit is in progress.
Before the commencement of the design and renovation work, the service team visits the new home of Granny Wong (centre) and listens attentively to her daily needs.
The service team gains the trust of Granny Wong (4th from left). The team visits her after she moves into her new home.
The URA strives to make a home that meets the specific daily needs of each beneficiary. The 74-year-old lady Wong Fui-ling (Granny Wong) is 4-foot tall. She has an impaired eyesight due to complications from diabetes. To minimise the risk from falling down, the team designed and built an electric clothes drying rack in her living room. A movable hanging bar was installed inside her closet so she can get her clothes without having to go up and down. Her bed frame was tailor-made to be low enough to match her height. Granny Wong was excited that an ordinary public housing unit could be transformed into a comfortable home that addressed all her needs. She was especially grateful to the service team for the various designs that were tailor-made for her.
Three Smart Design Features for a Petite User
Uncle Choi (front) thanks the team for their care and has only praise for his new home which he says is very comfortable!
73-year-old Choi Hing-yuen (Uncle Choi) suffers from cataract. The blurred vision has caused him many inconveniences at home. To cope with his situation, the team designed a door frame with contrasting colours in his new flat. Cabinet door panels and handles were also customised with strongly contrasting colours so that it was more convenient and safer for Uncle Choi to use. Another thoughtful design was the installation of night light fitted with an auto-switching sensor in the corridor and the living room, making it safer for Uncle Choi to walk around the flat at night.
Heartwarming Home Designs that Offer Convenience for Cataract Patient
Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council is one of the partners of the Programme. The Council’s Manager (Design and Property Management) Chan Wing-lam hopes that with the completion of this one-year pilot scheme, the URA will review its effectiveness and continue to implement the meaningful project in the future to bring about more elderly-friendly homes.
Howard (1st from right) talks to the beneficiary about the programme details.
The service team visits the new unit of the beneficiary.
Trina (1st from left) feels very satisfied in gaining the trust of the beneficiary.
Chan Wing-lam (1st from right) understands the needs of the beneficiaries to come up with suitable elderly-friendly designs for their new homes.
Howard (left) and Trina (right) get great satisfaction from the Project as well as unexpected friendship with the beneficiaries.
Taking Over the Family Business and Giving Back to Society
Chan Ho-yin (right) makes good use of his skills to design elderly-friendly homes. He teaches one of the beneficiaries Granny Wong how to use several thoughtful design features.
The Construction Charity Fund (CCF) Integrated Service Centre is one of the partners of the Elderly Home Improvement Community Programme. Chan Ho-yin was a beneficiary of the CCF. He now operates a renovation company inherited from his father who passed away due to an industrial accident. He is also working as an officer in the CCF Centre. Ho-yin feels incredibly joyful for participating in this Programme. He said, “With the help and generosity of people from my past, I can now run my own business. I hope in some small way I can contribute to spreading the spirit of goodwill by helping others.”
Under the Programme, the URA and CCF Centre hired workers who were underemployed due to the pandemic. It was hoped that the workers could get job opportunities and income while helping others to improve their homes.