An NGO said on Thursday that there needs to be more community support for elderly people whose children have emigrated from Hong Kong, saying they are vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation.
The Hong Kong Christian Service (HKCS) surveyed 203 elderly residents aged 50 or above – who did not live in residential care homes – between November and February.
Almost 40 percent of the respondents said they have children who’d left Hong Kong in or after 2020.
The group said 80 percent of these elderly people are at risk of social isolation, while 70 percent have developed signs of depression.
Jackie Chan, who led the research, said the situation is worrying as many of these senior citizens are not used to living alone.
“The elderly have less knowledge about local services,” she said.
“They do not call their friends or neighbourhood so they cannot find support from the community.”
Chan called on those who've left Hong Kong to maintain regular contact with their parents and do more to take care of them, such as help them order groceries online.
She added that society also has a role to play and more should be done to help them develop a community support network.
The HKCS said it will launch a special hotline in August to provide help and assistance to these elderly people.