HK launches scheme to help elderly keep fit

TO encourage the elderly to engage in healthy exercise, a “healthy elderly scheme” will be launched in Hong Kong for senior citizens, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department said on Sunday.  

Senior citizens can participate, at no charge, in the various recreational and sports activities organised during non-peak hours at the department's sports centres in various districts.  

Under the scheme, 191 free programmes will firstly be available to the elderly from next month to August.  

Among the programmes are table tennis, badminton, gateball, indoor lawn bowls, American pool, indoor golf, elderly fitness, social dance, Chinese dance, chess, and arts and crafts, all of which are popular with the elderly.  

“By participating in these leisure and recreational programmes, senior citizens will not only build stronger bodies, but also enrich their social life,” a spokesman for the department said.  

According to medical reports, about 10% of those affected with the spreading Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are elders who are more subject to death due to their weak health conditions.  

The elders are advised to take precautions while cleaning their households to prevent fall or strain to their bodies. 

Those with chronic diseases are reminded to continue with their prescribed medicines and not to delay treatment. The community has also been told to show more concern for the elders.  

The government said there is no cause for panic among elders as they are not at particular higher risk of contracting SARS than people of other age groups. – People’s Daily  

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