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Senior care seminar kicks off

HOUSEWORK, medical treatment and cooking meals are the top three services local seniors need, according to a survey made by local authorities.

Other major demands include psychological consultation, health regimen and cultural activities, said Jiang Min, deputy director with the Shanghai Spiritual Civilization Office. Volunteer services also become popular among local seniors, he added.

Currently, 90 percent of local seniors are taken care of at home, 7 percent are receiving community senior care services, while only 3 percent stay at senior care homes.

"It is quite important to meet the demands of local seniors through the home care and community services," Jiang said.

Ingersoll-Rand, a world leader in creating safe, comfortable and efficient environments, hosted a seminar on senior care in Shanghai, gathering government and corporate officials as well as welfare organizations in a bid to find a new senior care solution through cooperation among the different parties.

A major challenge facing the senior care services is most Chinese seniors are unwilling to pay too much for the senior care services, while the government can hardly cover the whole costs, said Wang Bo, a senior council member with the China Association of Social Welfare and Senior Service.

Moreover, the surging house price has increased the cost to develop senior care projects, especially in Shanghai and Beijing, Wang said. The high rent and property management cost made senior care organizations hardly profitable, he said, adding the rising labor costs also hinder the development of China's senior care industry.

To solve the problems, Changning District plans to build an innovative park by 2020 to incubate and develop start-ups and companies on the senior care industry, Zhang Wei, director with the Changning civil affairs bureau told the seminar.

The number of people aged 60 or above reached 4.58 million by the end of 2016 in Shanghai, or 31.6 percent of the city's permanent residents, according to the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.


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