China / Society

Shanghai releases aged-care service guideline

By WANG HONGYI in Shanghai ( Updated: 2014-04-11 18:42

Shanghai released a guideline on Friday to accelerate the development of its aged-care service industry, part of efforts to deal with increasingly pressing aging problems.

According to the guideline released on the official website of the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, a comprehensive aged-care service system will be established by 2020, covering service supply, elder protection, policy support, demand evaluation and industry supervision.

Meanwhile, the city is encouraging private and social capital to invest in the industry with a series of favorable policies.

Shanghai is the first city in China to be entering an aging society, and has long faced serious aging problems.

According to the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, the city's elderly population rose 5.5 percent in 2013 to 3.88 million, about 27 percent of its total registered population.

The bureau also said the elderly population is expected to surpass 6 million by 2025.

Authorities predicted that the average annual growth rate of the elderly population in Shanghai would be 5.7 percent, or 215,000 people each year.

By the end of 2015, the city will have more than 4.3 million elderly residents, or almost 30 percent of the registered population, the bureau said.

"The rapid growth of the aging population has created great challenges for society, and how to provide proper care service for elderly people is a big issue," said Yin Zhigang, deputy director of the Shanghai Research Center on Aging.

In recent years, Shanghai has announced a series of ways to cope with the increasing number of its aging population, such as added beds in nursing homes and community-based care services.

In 2013, the city added more than 5,100 beds to local nursing homes, increasing 3 percent to 108,364, according to the bureau. The city government also promised to add more beds in the coming years.

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