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Age Friendly Community Care Programme for Age-friendly Transportation


Summary

The Wan Chai Methodist Centre for the Seniors organized the Age Friendly Community Care programme to improve age-friendliness within the district’s transportation system, with support from the Jockey Club Age-friendly City Project. The programme encouraged older adults to share their opinions about public transportation and to promote a culture of offering seats to those who may need them on public transportation (seat offering culture).

The Age Friendly Community Care programme organized a series of activities in collaboration with local older people’s centres, which included organizing transportation inspection visits and sharing sessions, showing short films on priority seats, holding a tram parade, and holding school talks. The transportation inspection visit invited older adults to Wan Chai Station of the Mass Transit Railway and the Hong Kong Tramways, during which participants could highlight the strengths and limitations of these transportation methods from an age-friendly perspective. The visits were followed by a sharing session during which the participants made suggestions for improvement to representatives of the Wan Chai District Council, Social Welfare Department, and the Home Affairs Department of the Hong Kong government. After these activities, older participants reported an increase in their motivation to contribute to the development of a more age-friendly city and district.

Some aspects of this programme targeted a wider audience. During the sharing session, a short film on seat offering culture was showcased and subsequently disseminated on social media platforms and shared widely. The tram parade and school talks on public transportation also promoted seat offering culture to the general public and younger people, respectively.

At the conclusion of the program, we acknowledged that more public education still needed to be done in the local community in order to promote age-friendly transportation systems and greater social inclusion. To do this effectively, we recognised the necessity of collaboration between different stakeholders such as regional governments, district councils, non-government organizations, and schools.

Website: http://www.jcafc.hk/en/events/225-wc-prog08

Key facts

Main target group: Older people in general

Other target group(s): The general public

Sector(s): Transportation

Desired outcome for older people:
Be mobile

Other issues the Age-friendly practice aims to address:
  • Accessibility
  • Inclusion

Contact details

Name: Peggy Pik-Yee Lee

Email address: pyleepeggy@gmail.com


Age-friendly practice in detail (click to expand):

Engaging the wider community

Project lead: Social or health care provider

Others involved in the project:
  • Local authorities
  • Volunteers
  • Research institution

How collaboration worked: This programme was one of the district-based programmes of the Jockey Club Age-friendly City Project, which was initiated and funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The programme was co-organized by the Community Building and Housing Affairs Committee of the Wan Chai District Council, Methodist Southorn Centre for the Elderly, and Harmony Elderly Centre. The programme was evaluated by the Sau Po Centre on Ageing, at the University of Hong Kong.

Older people’s involvement: Older people were involved in the age-friendly practice at multiple or all stages

Details on older people’s involvement: Older adults were the target participants of the programme. Some older adults also participated in the transportation inspection visits and spoke in the sharing session, while others assisted the organizers in the tram parade as volunteers.

Moving forward

Has the impact of this age-friendly practice been analysed: Yes

Was the impact positive or negative:
Positive

Feedback:
Feedback from the primary target group: – Generally, the activities organised by the Wan Chai Methodist Centre were felt to be effective in terms of improving age friendliness in transportation, respect, and social inclusion. – Educating the younger generation is key to promote seat offering culture and improving the age-friendliness of transportation systems. – Distribution of leaflets alone were less effective to promote seat offering unless some souvenirs such as folders are given to attract more attention from the public. – The programme provided a platform for older participants to share their views to the public and key stakeholders, but there was less of a follow-up in terms of lacking a concrete plan to address the identified issues or channel their suggestions to the transportation companies. – The programme’s duration was too short to create long-term effects. – The use of mass media such as television would be useful to promote seat offering culture. – Collaboration with different stakeholders including the district council and other NGOs in the district would promote a greater effect of improving age-friendliness within the district.

Expansion plans:
During this project, we have recruited some Age-friendly elderly ambassadors. They are equipped with skills and knowledge to help promote age-friendly practice in the future. Also, we will continue to identify other issues which concern the elderly.

Looking back

Reflections:
While the transportation inspection visits were beneficial in terms of identifying older people’s transportation needs, these were limited to only trams and the MTR (Hong Kong’s railway system). More types of public transportation could have been part of the inspection visit. If we organized a new program about age-friendly transportation in the future, we would strive to include a greater variety of transportation methods in the inspection sessions, such as buses, mini-buses, and taxis.

Challenges:
The program was completed within 6 months, which we felt was not enough for adequate preparation for promotion of the scheme. We felt in particular that our message of age-friendly transportation and mobility was not being adequately disseminated to the general public. To address this challenge, we put more effort into promoting our program using social media channels (Facebook, YouTube), as well as through the placement of promotional posters in the Wan Chai MTR station.