Need for elderly care rises in China

Need for elderly care rises in China

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An online poll has found that a majority of people want the Chinese government to invest more money in caring for the country’s ever growing elderly population. About 8,476 Chinese were polled, out of which 80 percent called for more money to go into the system over the next ten years.

Most of the respondents were born in the 1970’s or 1980’s and more than half said that they struggled to care for their elderly parents due to the pressures of work and high living costs. Other concerns raised in the survey included a shortage of care homes and rehabilitation services, along with elderly relatives’ loneliness and geographically restricted medical insurance.

One of the residents who were facing problems with the system said that living costs in Beijing are not low and without social insurance their parents feel uneasy. As of 2011, China has more than 190 million residents aged 60 years or older. According to government estimates, by 2050, one-third of the population will be aged more than 60 years.

A poll also said that 5.5 percent of respondents said that they want to send their parents to a nursing home. However, pressure on nursing homes also continues to grow, especially in cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Reports have said that at present about 11 million caregivers are needed to care for 33 million elderly with various disabilities.