The Centre was officially launched in April 1999 under the auspices of the Faculty of Social Sciences of The University of Hong Kong. With an endowment from Mr. Kwok Sau-po, the Centre was renamed the Sau Po Centre on Ageing in 2002.

Since 2011, the Centre has been relocated to the new Hong Kong Jockey Club Building for Interdisciplinary Research near the HKU Faculty of Medicine. The new location allows more opportunities for collaboration among the research centres under the Faculty of Social Sciences and between the Centre and the Faculty of Medicine.

Over the last decade, the work of the Centre has been shaping the development of long term care policy and program in Hong Kong. Early work by Professor Iris Chi, the Founding Director, led to the implementation of the long term care screening system by the Social Welfare Department, the Hong Kong SAR Government. The research conducted by Dr. Ernest Chui, the then-Director of the Centre, has led to the adoption of Long-Term Care Voucher by the Hong Kong SAR Government. In recent years, Professor Terry Lum, the then-Director, led the team to develop an ageing-in-place model for older people living in public rental housing; and to conduct a study to enhance the infrastructure of the long-term care system in Hong Kong. Starting from September 2015, Dr. Vivian Lou has been appointed as the new Director of the Centre. Dr. Lou is specialized in social gerontology including psychological and spiritual wellbeing; social support; long-term care; family caregiving; and grandparenting. It is anticipated that the Centre will grow to new high under Dr. Lou’s leadership.