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  • Take Charge of Your Own Ageing

Take Charge of Your Own Ageing

Growing Old in Hong Kong

Jean Woo

English , 2024/02 The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press

Tags: Medical Science & Health Care

203 x 128 x 15 mm , 120pp ISBN / ISSN : 978-988-237-313-6

  • US$24.00

In Stock

Health is not just the absence of disease.
In an era when living to 100 is becoming more common,
our concept of ageing must evolve.

While Hong Kong people enjoy the world's longest life expectancy, an important question arises: Are we truly achieving healthy ageing?

In this book, Professor Jean Woo addresses a diverse array of challenges associated with the elderly population in Hong Kong society, including issues like elderly poverty, unfriendly community designs, unfair stigmatization faced by seniors, and late-life loneliness. Drawing on extensive research and clinical experience, she advocates for self-care, education, and empowerment, encouraging us to move beyond dependence on doctors and medications.

Ageing is inevitable, yet we can control how we age.


By 2046, 36% of Hong Kongers will be ‘older adults’. Take Charge of Your Own Ageing is a timely publication to remind our society about the significance of co-creating a city that is environmentally and socially friendly towards the physical, mental and social well-being of an ageing population with a 100-year lifespan. This book is a must-read for policymakers, businessmen, NGOs, older adults and caregivers. Collaborative and intersectoral efforts are needed to foster age-friendly policies, measures and places, empowering older adults to take charge of their own lives instead of being passive care recipients.

Professor Ng Mee Kam
Director, Urban Studies Programme, CUHK

Even in her seventies, Professor Jean Woo has kept the fire in her heart burning. With her unwavering commitment to health, she herself is a demonstration of living a life to the fullest against a ticking clock. Not only is she outspoken, but she also takes seriously her commitment to improving the health of Hong Kong people through community services, gerontechnology, and countless studies on well-being.

This book records what Prof. Woo, as an authority of on gerontology, has observed in the hospitals and communities in Hong Kong over the past half century. She is frank enough to point out the various problems behind the façade of Hong Kong people’s longevity: How can the health indicators of the elderly be the same as those of the general population? Apart from the general differences in health problems and treatments between men and women, the elderly also suffer from deleterious effects of loneliness and social isolation after the pandemic as the outcome of health inequalities.

— Chan Hiu Lui
Chief Editor of Big Silver

Over the past two to three decades, the WHO has endeavoured to promote universal health and develop primary healthcare, emphasising that collective efforts from various sectors of society are necessary to achieve good health for all, and maintain the quality of life in old age by improving areas ranging from urban design, public services, private market operations, education, employment, housing, food safety, to social inclusion, community participation, and poverty eradication. In other words, we need to plan for a ‘healthy city’. Both Prof. Woo and I have happened to promote interdisciplinary and trans-sectoral collaboration within communities, to encourage everyone to take their awareness of health to the next level— taking appropriate health actions with improved health literacy.

I hope for a complete change in Hong Kong society, whether it is a change in our vision of life or our social culture and socio-economic operations that prompt us to think only the healthcare system is responsible for handling wellbeing issues. Just as Prof. Woo said we cannot simply ‘relying on doctors, investigations and drugs, accompanied by unrealistic expectations that bad health outcomes can be avoided if you do what the doctors tell you’. After all, why do we strive to maintain good health? Isn’t it because there is nothing more important than living well and dying well?

Dr Fan Ning
Founder of Health In Action & Chairman of Forget Thee Not

Professor Jean Woo graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1974. She joined the Department of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1985 as Lecturer and became Head of the Department in 1993 until 1999. She established the Centre for Nutritional Studies in 1997 using a self-financing model to carry out service, education and research; and the Centre for Gerontology and Geriatrics in 1998 (renamed as the S.H Ho Centre for Gerontology and Geriatrics in 2006), offering self-financed courses in Gerontology and Geriatrics, as well as End of Life Care.

Currently she is the Co-Director of CUHK Institute of Health Equity, Director of the CUHK Jockey Club Institute of Ageing, Henry G Leong Research Professor of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine & Therapeutics at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Honorary Consultant of Prince of Wales Hospital and Shatin Hospital.

Please click here to download the pdf.
Please click here to download the pdf.
Please click here to download the pdf.

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