Mr. Mak’s ageing in comfort at Yee Hong Heights under Guangdong Scheme

Mr. Mak and his wife joined a smartphone class and were awarded graduate certificates after completing the class.

Mr. Mak and his wife joined a smartphone class and were awarded graduate certificates after completing the class.

Mr Mak enjoys reading in his spare time.

Mr. MAK Cham-hung, from Hong Kong and his wife from Beijing have been living apart for years. As both of them are ageing, they hope to be reunited soon, having each other and growing old together. The couple once had a headache when they were looking for a place of permanent residence and a residential care home just right for them. In the end, Mr. Mak decided to move in Yee Hong Heights, a cross-border residential care home in Shenzhen under The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation, that he applied to the Social Welfare Department through the “Residential Care Services Scheme in Guangdong” (Guangdong Scheme).

In 2019, Mr. Mak turned 80. He was living alone in Hong Kong with a medical history of diabetes, high blood pressure, urological diseases and cerebral infarction, and so he was in desperate need of elderly care service. By the end of 2020, he was finally admitted to Yee Hong Heights, a cross-border residential care home through the “Guangdong Scheme” under the Social Welfare Department.

Mr. Mak worked in translation and publication when he was young. He met his wife in Beijing but then he moved to Hong Kong in the 80’s. Since then, the couple had lived apart in different cities. Afterwards, Mr. Mak relocated to Beijing because of work. As they do not share the same right of abode, they were not protected under the same healthcare system and felt worried about medical protection and the quality of elderly care they would receive in golden years.

“I’d considered to live in an elderly home in Beijing or in Hong Kong, but I gave up this idea for many reasons. As my wife preferred living in mainland China, I started looking for a residential care home in mainland China that could meet our standards,” said Mr. Mak.

In the process, he stumbled across Yee Hong Heights, a residential care home located in Yantian, Shenzhen. After he had a home tour, he felt that the living environment was exceedingly comfortable. “The air’s so fresh in Shenzhen. The beauty of the natural landscapes here is unrivaled. Yee Hong Heights’s adjacent to mountains and creeks. The surroundings look restful and serene. And, it’s not far from neighbouring Hong Kong. That makes it convenient to travel between two places,” said Mr. Mak, who moved in as planned towards the end of 2020.

Diagnosed with cerebral infarction in recent years, Mr. Mak would feel dizzy rising up from bed. He also could not perform gross motor movements. Cerebral infarction had diminished Mr. Mak’s walking ability, so he was extremely cautious about walking and avoiding bad falls. He also, for the sake of safety, registered for a training course with the residence, “Age Smart – Fall Prevention Training for the Elderly” and learned about techniques in avoiding falls and in strengthening balancing ability to reduce fall accidents.

As patients diagnosed with cerebral infarction are more likely to have associated comorbidities, such as cardiovascular diseases and stroke, YHH’s staff members are working out a rehabilitation plan with Mr. Mak to improve his health. “The health and fitness centre in Yee Hong Heights is furnished with a variety of rehabilitation equipment. I’m bracing myself for rehabilitation treatment,” said Mr. Mak. Besides, he is very active in doing aerobic exercises and ambling outdoor to improve his hand-foot functions and to slow down ageing.

Stepping into his later life, Mr. Mak likes to indulge himself in reading and to keep learning new knowledge tirelessly. He registered for a smart phone class when it first came out in Yee Hong Heights with his wife. “Before I moved in, I’d tried using smart phone, but only limited to outgoing calls. After completing the class, I’d learned to take pictures, videos or send text messages. Even though I’m in Shenzhen, I could stay connected with distant friends and family,” said Mr. Mak.

Mr. Mak feels very grateful to the staff members in Yee Hong Heights. “Their passion is much appreciated! They’re all very patient and loving, taking care of each of us wholeheartedly and unconditionally. And the Superintendent, Ms. Jackie Mo also gets her hands dirty to make sure we’re all well.” He is content with his life in Yee Hong Heights. At the beginning of 2021, he convinced his wife in Beijing to come and stay with him. They have finally ended living apart and started enjoying their late life hand in hand.