In 1996, Senior Citizen Home Safety Association (SCHSA) was founded by a group of passionate individuals, in response to a prolonged cold spell during which more than one hundred elderly people living alone perished. The Association is a social enterprise and charitable organisation in Hong Kong, offers 24-hour personal care and emergency assistance services to the elderly and other vulnerable groups in the community. Through its core Personal Emergency Link service the charity aims to improve quality of life through the use of specialist technology and people-oriented services.
ICAP Hong Kong supported the SCHSA as part of ICAP Charity Day 2014. Funds raised from the day have financed the running of the Senior Citizen Home Safety Association 24-hour emergency support and a care helpline, aiding those in need in the community.
I am deeply grateful to be able to use the Personal Emergency Link service thanks to ICAP’s generous donation. I wish more elderly people can be protected by this life-saving service too.Auntie Chow, Service User.
Despite the fact Hong Kong is a city known for its wealth there is an extremely high proportion of the population living in poverty, a large number of which are housebound elderly people. The SCHSA rely on corporate and individual donations to support the provision of life-long, free safety services to those most at risk. Thanks to ICAP’s support, 590 senior citizens are now covered by the protection of the SCHSA personal caring and emergency assistance services.
SCHSA technicians are trained to organise the necessary help or arrange for the emergency services to aid vulnerable beneficiaries. Auntie Chow, pictured here, is 84 years old and suffers from heart disease which hinders her ability to walk. Auntie Chow lives alone in a remote village and receives limited support from her family. Whenever she feels ill, or requires assistance whether inside or away from her home, she can be instantly connected to the SCHSA by pressing the service button - a device supplied and installed by the charity. A GPS signal provides SCHSA with accurate location details, ensuring a rapid response from the emergency services. Ambulance services in Hong Kong would have struggled to locate and reach Auntie Chow’s home so quickly without this vital service.
The SCHSA also offer emotional support to its beneficiaries. Isolation and loneliness can hugely impact vulnerable elderly people. Auntie Chow once experienced a few days without an electrical supply, had the charity not been monitoring Auntie Chow and seen the SCHSA service device had been disabled no-one would have known what she was experiencing. The SCHSA resolved the electrical issues, repaired her service device, thereby ensuring her continued safety. SCHSA quite literally provide a lifeline to many elderly and vulnerable groups in the community.
For Auntie Chow and the other service users, SCHSA provide emergency support to solutions for daily life and comfort. In the future, the charity aims to expand the reach of its services. With help from ICAP, SCHSA can continue to create a positive impact on Hong Kong’s most vulnerable members of society.