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Quickly aging province to establish hundreds of day care centers for elderly

Time:2016-03-08     Click:Loading   【Print】  【Close

East China's Jiangsu province will establish a day care center for the elderly in each of its communities over the next five years to ease the growing pressure of supporting and caring for a quickly aging population.

Jiangsu has more than 16.4 million people aged 60 or older, accounting for 21.4 percent of its population. Those 65 an older number 11.15 million, more than 14 percent of the population, the highest percentage in the country.

At least 100 day care centers will be established each year to provide food, health exams and entertainment for the elderly, said Niu Xuexing, deputy director of the Jiangsu Civil Affairs Bureau.

Zhao Xiulian, of Xingda in Nanjing’s Jianye district, who drops her 75-year-old mother each working morning at the Jindesong Service Center and picks her up after work, describes the facility as a “kindergarten for the elderly”.

“At the center, my mother has lunch with the people she knows, reads books or dances if she likes,” Zhao said. “She also receives free health examinations, haircuts or even foot massages. ... The center is a good idea for those elderly that don’t want to be alone.”

According to the Nanjing Civil Affairs Bureau, more than 200,000 of the city’s 1.31 million elderly residents need day care centers because they are disabled and live alone.

The province also wants to encourage elderly parents to live with or near their grown children, said Niu, of the Jiangsu bureau.

“Due to China’s traditional culture, most elderly people prefer living on their own or in their children’s homes to nursing homes,” Niu said. “For those who move to Nanjing to live with their children, they’ll benefit from simplified medical insurance application procedures, cheaper transportation expenses and discounts on park tickets.”

Additionally, those aged 80 or older will receive extra subsidies in the province’s 13 cities.

The rest of China also is facing the pressures of an aging population. Currently 15 percent of its population, or 200 million people, are aged 60 or older. By 2020, the number will increase to 243 million. And by 2050, the number is expected to expand to one-third of the population.

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