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Aging in a tiger welfare regime: The single elderly in Hong Kong

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Abstract

This paper explores the copingstrategies of the low income single elderly inHong Kong, which are divided into several broadtypes: government-orientated (public services);market-orientated; community-orientated; andindividually-orientated (practically speakingself restraint and denial). It highlights thisgroup's reliance on the government, which notonly provides housing, medical care and otherservices, but is also a major source of incomesupport, although support levels are seriouslyinadequate. Yet the highly differentiatednature of Hong Kong's market economy providessingle elders with ways to supplementinadequate public provision, by entering intolow paid, menial work, and purchasingconsumption necessities and accessingaffordable housing in the informal sector – notably those segments of Hong Kong'sincreasingly sophisticated economy that are athrowback to leaner, meaner times. This casestudy also highlights the extent to which thecommunity sector is undeveloped in Hong Kong.In spite of Hong Kong's wealth and level ofeconomic development the prognosis for thisgroup is not good.

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La Grange, A., Yung, B. Aging in a tiger welfare regime: The single elderly in Hong Kong. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 16, 257–281 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011932006955

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