Community offers suggestions for elderly-care law

Hu Min
From more hospice care to better rehabilitation services, people are urging upgraded attention to elderly needs.
Hu Min

Caring for the elderly is a hot-button policy issue in Shanghai, where residents 60 years and older comprise about a third of the whole population.

The city is now drafting new regulations on senior-care services, and input from the grassroots is helping frame the law.

A recent discussion session was held in Putuo District's Caoyang Residential Complex Subdistrict, one of the spots designated by the Shanghai People’s Congress for collecting grassroots opinions on legislation.

Among the suggestions proposed at the meeting were the inclusion of hospice services and rehabilitation facilities in the elderly-care system, and “smart” technology monitoring senior-care agencies.

Some people also suggested a blacklist be compiled of people who fail to fulfill filial duties toward elderly family members.

"I suggested including hospice care in the regulations because it is difficult for families to care for seniors with serious diseases in the final weeks or months of their lives," said Zhu Aiqin, a Shanghai legislator.

Zhu said "education is needed to help the elderly get accustomed to the digital age, such as handling the health QR codes and hospital reservations.”

Huang Dekui, director of the Putuo District Central Hospital, called for preferential policies in the establishment of rehabilitation facilities at hospitals.

"Hospitalized seniors, particularly in long-term care, need rehabilitation facilities that most hospitals lack,” he said. "It would really upgrade senior-care services at medical institutions."

Ding Yong, director of the Putuo District Senior Care Service Association, suggested including monitoring systems that use Internet of Things technologies to help evaluate the work of senior-care agencies.

"Senior services providers should also be required to evaluate the psychological conditions of the elderly and work out multi-tiered nursing service plans to help them,” said Ding.

By the end of last year, Shanghai's elderly population totaled 5.2 million, or 35.2 percent of permanent residents. Among them, about 819,800 were 80 years or older.

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