Rising demand for live-in caregivers for elderly citizens
Caroline helps with housework like cooking, but she also monitors the old man's daily health and communicates with medical staff on his condition
Hong Kong will need more trained foreign caregivers, especially for elderly care given the city’s aging population, experts say.
Trained caregivers, mostly from the Philippines, have come to Hong Kong on domestic worker visas and some have trained as nurses in their home country, Sing Tao Daily reported.
Lam Pui Ka, the manager of a caregivers service agency, said more than 100 domestic workers are working as elderly caregivers in Hong Kong, and trained caregivers from overseas could get a higher salary. Depending on qualifications and experience, some could earn HK$7,000 (US$891) a month.
The minimum wage for domestic workers is currently set at HK$4,410.
But, if foreign workers don’t have local nursing accreditation, these caregivers could not assist with medical procedures like intubation or drawing blood.
Filipina Caroline Tanael, who holds a nursing certificate and previously worked as a nurse for eight years in the Philippines, was employed to take care of a 73-year-old local man surnamed Hui last year.
Two years ago, Hui suffered a stroke that limited his mobility. He lived in an elderly home after being discharged from the hospital but did not like it. Hui’s daughter then hired Caroline to take care of him at home.
Caroline needs to help out simple housework like cooking, but she helps monitor his daily health condition, including measuring his blood pressure, reminding Hui to take medicine, assisting him to do exercise and communicating with medical staff if there is any special condition.
Hui appreciated much Caroline’s help as his health improved after a year under her care and he can now walk for hundreds of steps without holding a walking stick, Ming Pao Daily reported.
Caroline gets HK$5,400 a month currently and said she enjoys her job very much.
Hong Kong’s elderly population is expected to increase from 1.16 million in 2016 to 2.37 million in 20 years, data from the Census and Statistics Department shows.