Institute of Ageing - Activities Institute of Ageing

Sustainable Development Goals

The Hong Kong Chapter of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN Hong Kong) is co-hosted by The Chinese University of Hong Kong and The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust (HKJC). It aims to mobilize universities, research centres, civil society organizations, businesses, and other knowledge centres to focus on practical problem solving for sustainable development.

The CUHK Jockey Club Institute of Ageing is engaged in ongoing global and local cross-boundary partnerships with universities, institutes and organizations from Australia, Japan, Mainland China, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, UK and US. The Institute also collaborates with HKJC, universities, hospitals, District Councils, NGOs and the community to implement a wide range of projects which contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular on Good Health and Well-Being (SDG 3) and Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11). For details, please visit the website of SDSN Hong Kong and selected publications below.

Selected publications:

Sun, Y., Chau, P. H., Wong, M. & Woo, J. (2017). Place- and age-responsive disaster risk reduction for Hong Kong: collaborative place audit and social vulnerability index for elders. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 8(2), 121-133.

Woo, J., Yu, R. & Tang, N. (2017). Telomeres and physical activity. Telomeres, Diet and Human Disease: Advances and Therapeutic Opportunities. Eds Marti del Moral A, Zalba Goñi G. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis, Chapter 7.

Yu, R., Cheung, O., Lau, K. & Woo, J. (2017). Associations between perceived neighborhood walkability and walking time, wellbeing, and loneliness in community-dwelling older Chinese people in Hong Kong. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(10), 1199, doi:10.3390/ijerph14101199.

Sun, Y., Chan, R. C. K. & Chen, H. (2016). Learning with Geographical Sensitivity: Place-Based Education and Its Praxis. The Professional Geographer, 68, 574-583.

Sun, Y., Chao, T. Y., Woo, J. & Au, D. W. H. (2017). An institutional perspective of “Glocalization” in two Asian tigers: The “Structure” – Agent – Strategy” of building an age-friendly city. Habitat International, 59, 101-109.

Woo, J., Yu, R., Chau, A. & CUHK Jockey Club Institute of Ageing. (2017). AgeWatch Index for Hong Kong: Topical Report on Enabling Environment. The Hong Kong Jockey Club 2016.


Congress of International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG)

A delegation of the CUHK Jockey Club Institute of Ageing has attended the Congress of International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) in San Francisco, USA in July 2017. Three posters had been presented and a video introducing the Institute was showing in the Congress.



Distinguished Lecture

Distinguished Lecture on Sustainable Development

The Institute and the Hong Kong Chapter of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN Hong Kong) jointly organized the Distinguished Lecture on Sustainable Development on 30 November 2018. Prof. Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the Institute of Health Equity at University College London, was invited to deliver a lecture titled ‘Health Equity and Sustainable Development’. The lecture drew an audience of over 150 scholars, students, alumni, and members of the public.



Second Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia (AWGS) Meeting

The Institute and The Hong Kong Geriatrics Society jointly organized the 2nd Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia Meeting on 18-19 May 2019 in CUHK. More than 40 delegates from Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand attended the meeting. They also discussed the AWGS consensus paper which is scheduled to be published at the next AWGS meeting in October.



Research Project

Establishment of an active ageing index in Hong Kong: Re-inventing the lived experience and potential of older people (General Research Fund, Research Grant Council, Hong Kong, 2017-2019, project number: 14606517)

Hong Kong has the highest global life expectancy and a low fertility rate, which raises concern as to whether its welfare system can sustain the long and active lives of older people. Given high density urban living and the residual welfare ideology, active ageing in Hong Kong is a challenging task of incorporating older people into society as assets. An active ageing index (AAI) developed across 28 European countries serves as a global quantitative effort to benchmark the diverse experience of active ageing and quantify older people’s potential from three major categories of human capability- human assets, health capital, and human capital. It enables country comparisons to inform the social implications of rapid demographic changes and suggests ways by which older people’s potential can be mobilized. The aim of this project is to adapt the European AAI in the Hong Kong context through the four core domains (“employment”, “participation in society”, “independent, healthy and secure living”, and “capacity and enabling environment for active ageing”). The multi-step method, including focus group interviews, multi-disciplinary expert panel reviews, and population-based surveys, will incorporate additional elements that are essential for the lived experience of older Chinese people.


Designing better urban green space for active ageing in high-density cities (General Research Fund, Research Grant Council, Hong Kong, 2017-2020, project number: 14603617)

In high-density cities, urban green spaces should be considered as one’s extended living space for elderly people due to the compact indoor living environment. Well-designed urban green spaces promote active ageing and improve the well-being of elderly people. This study intends to understand elderly’s perception, preference and usage of urban green spaces, and the effect on their health and well-being in order to provide insights to the planning and design of age-friendly urban green spaces in high-density cities. We will conduct questionnaire surveys with elderly people to obtain necessary information about their perception, preference and usage of urban green spaces in selected neighbourhood, which will be used to investigate the relationship with their health conditions. Based on the above findings, good design practices will be developed and evidence-based design guidelines of urban green spaces will be established for urban planning and design practitioners.


Disaster Risk Reduction and Its Economic Evaluation - A Hong Kong Taiwan Comparative Study (Taiwan Collaboration Fund)

This is an inter-institutional and cross-disciplinary collaboration project, which incorporates disciplines of economics and urban planning to examine effective Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) measures between Hong Kong and Taiwan. Specifically, the project compares the DRR frameworks and identifies gaps that lead to effective and ineffective DRR implementation in terms of risk assessment, dialogue, and action. The resultant comparison aims to inform ways to integrate knowledge, actions, and stakeholders for enhanced risk preparedness and management.


Healthy Ageing x Ageing in Place (also named as “Nutcrackers 2.0”) (CUHK Knowledge Transfer Project Fund)

The project aims to foster a healthy living environment by creating opportunities for older people to take charge of their own health, and at the same time, property service team (as front-line staff) at residential estates will be empowered with social and geriatric healthcare knowledge, who could be well-equipped to spot and facilitate elderly needs ahead of time. Through the Integrated Care for Older People (ICOPE) approach, the project drives towards the provision of people-centred integrated care services that put people and communities, at the centre of health systems. This system oriented around the needs of people provides a more effective and better experience for elderly and is well prepared to respond to the rising demand of health services.


Our Everyday. Our Borders. (CUHK Knowledge Transfer Project Fund)

In creating Hong Kong as a walkable city for the elders, a project team of doctors, architects and urban planners, elders and students are encouraged to go out and explore the “treasures” in the city, and to voice out their views on universal accessibility of the built environment. The synergy between the professional team and elders are mutually beneficial with the potential of driving positive spiral effect towards the society as a whole. The project provides a proactive way to drive our city towards the “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs), making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, and safeguarding elders in Hong Kong their right to well-being.

Please click the event link (Monthly event will be updated from now till August 2020 at this same link by ORKTS)


Pursuing Meaningful Goals as Intervention to Reduce Loneliness Among Hong Kong Elders (CUHK Knowledge Transfer Project Fund)

Meaningful social relationships are essential to the psychological well-being of older people. However, loneliness is a condition faced by many older people in Hong Kong. To address this issue, the CUHK Jockey Club Institute of Ageing, in collaboration with the Department of Psychology (CUHK) and NGO partners in Tai Po, undertook a project to understand whether loneliness in older adults can be reduced by engaging them in programme that draw upon their meaningful experiences and memories. This group-based intervention program consists of two different parts that take place during alternate weeks. First, lonely older people go on guided tours to visit historically and culturally meaningful places in their districts (Tai Po); then, they participate in small group sessions to reminisce about their own experience and memories related to these destinations. Through these meaningful interactions and sharing, they can connect to other participants, form new relationships, and feel less lonely. Any additional benefits over the comparison group (whose older adults engaged in recreational but not meaningful activities) allow us to understand whether meaningfulness played a critical role. The results suggested that, compared to the comparison group, the intervention was effective in reducing loneliness and increasing meaning in life among older adults aged 75 and above. We are currently in the process of rolling out the program on a larger scale to benefit more lonely older adults in Hong Kong.

An introductory video (in Cantonese with English subtitles) can be viewed here:

A complete intervention manual can be downloaded here: Download


Jockey Club Frailty Prevention Campaign

As the population ages, the number of people with frailty is expected to increase, adding burden to the healthcare and social service system. However, frailty is not an inevitable consequence of ageing. Older people who maintain regular physical exercise and cognitive training are more likely to remain healthy and live independently. Thus, prevention and early identification of frailty are important in delaying progressive decline. The aim of this study is to examine the effectiveness of a 12-week frailty program in reducing frailty in community-dwelling Chinese older adults who are pre-frail or frail. Focus group interviews will also be included to reveal the difficulties encountered by pre-frail or frail older adults, and to understand their expectations for the support towards frailty.


Poster Presentation

Chau AKC, Fang Y, Wong A, Yu R, Woo J. Social connections Mediate the Association Between Frailty and Meaning in Life in Older People. Poster presented in The 21st IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics; 2017 Jul 23-27; San Francisco.


Au DWH, Lee JSW, Chan HY, Wong MW, Cheung NL, Ng K, Woo J. An exploratory investigation into advance care planning, end-of-life communication and decision-making in an acute hospital setting. Poster presented in the JCECC Conference on Collaboration in Creating Compassionate Holistic End-of-Life Care for the Future; 2017 Mar 8-9; Hong Kong.


Wang D, Lau KKL, Yu R, Wong SYS, Kwok TCY, Woo J. Neighboring Green Space and Transitions Between Frailty States Among Chinese Elderly in Hong Kong. Poster presented in The 21st IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics; 2017 Jul 23-27; San Francisco.


Yu R, Woo J, Lum T, Lou V, Ma C, Kwan M, et al. Building Hong Kong into an Age-friendly City: Results from a Baseline Assessment. Poster presented in The 21st IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics; 2017 Jul 23-27; San Francisco.


Yu R, Wu WC, Leung J, Hu SC, Woo J. Prevalence of Frailty in Chinese Older People: A Cross-Cultural Study. Poster presented in The 21st IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics; 2017 Jul 23-27; San Francisco.



Please visit Affiliated Academics and Researchers and Annual Report for publications by the Institute.
JAMDA Author Video: Is Neighborhood Green Space Associated with Less Frailty? Evidence from the Mr. and Ms. Os (Hong Kong) Study