Shanghai to strengthen infrastructure for seniors and the disabled

Hu Min
The city has revealed plans to expand senior care at nursing homes citywide and also to increase handicapped-friendly access to services.
Hu Min
Shanghai to strengthen infrastructure for seniors and the disabled
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Seniors play games at the Hengyu Caojiadu Seniors' Home in Jing'an District.

Shanghai to strengthen infrastructure for seniors and the disabled
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

An elderly woman plays darts at the Hengyu Caojiadu Seniors' Home.

Shanghai is going all out to ensure a quality, happy life for its elderly citizens.

Among the city's goals is to place 5,000 new beds at seniors' homes this year and 2,000 of those spots will cater specifically to the needs of seniors with cognitive disorders.

As of August, 4,879 new beds were in place, and 66 percent of the designated 2,000 had been tailored for elderly residents with cognitive disorders.

Fifty new community-based comprehensive senior service centers and 200 new community-based canteens for the elderly are also on the agenda.

Between January and August, 44 comprehensive senior service centers and 175 canteens were built.

Shanghai residents over the age of 60 comprise more than 35 percent of the permanent population. It's estimated that about 300,000 people in the city suffer from dementia, a figure projected to increase in the coming years.

The city is creating a comprehensive senior-oriented elderly service network amid the growing aging trend and increasing demand for efficient, convenient, and equitable senior-care services.

A safer and more age-friendly living environment for the city's older residents is being implemented citywide as part of a renovation program for seniors' homes.

Shanghai to strengthen infrastructure for seniors and the disabled
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Anastasija Puzankova from Latvia, director of the Jiufeng Seniors' Home in Qingpu District, helps out with a puzzle.

Shanghai to strengthen infrastructure for seniors and the disabled
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Anastasija Puzankova from Latvia, director of Jiufeng Seniors' Home in Qingpu District, helps an elderly woman practice figures.

Shanghai has also inked senior-care service cooperation agreements with 26 cities, counties and districts in the Yangtze River Delta region.

Under the terms of agreements, 57 senior-care service agencies in the region are offering "cross-city" services for senior citizens, and another 25,000 beds will be earmarked to accommodate seniors in the region this year.

Shanghai has about 68,000 nurses working in the senior-care industry. Training sessions are reguarly held to improve their professional skills, and efforts are made to increase their salaries.

Devices that can help elderly, disabled or sick people are available for rent in 150 subdistricts and towns across the city. The plan is to cover all subdistricts and towns in the city by the end of this year.

Included are a wide range of devices, including orthopedic equipment, nursing beds, walking aids, wheelchairs, oxygen generators and limb rehabilitation equipment.

Shanghai to strengthen infrastructure for seniors and the disabled
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Seniors play games at the Hengyu Caojiadu Seniors' Home in Jing'an District.

Shanghai has also released a blueprint to improve the quality of life of the city's disabled.

To be implemented through 2025, the plan includes subsidies for jobless and seriously handicapped residents to be raised by more than 70 percent and for all disabled people to be eligible for basic medical or senior-care insurance.

About 222,000 people with severe disabilities will be included in the local nursing subsidy system, and the per-capita housing space for the disabled will amount to 36.6 square meters by the end of 2025.

The per-capita disposable income of the disabled will grow significantly, and the enrollment rate of disabled children for compulsory education will exceed 99 percent, according to the blueprint.

The registered jobless rate of the disabled will be cut to below 4.5 percent, and the employment rate of disabled university graduates will be above 95 percent.

A total of 252 barrier-free movie screening venues for the disabled will be established across the city, benefiting about 20,000 people who are visually impaired.

Renovations for barrier-free facilities will be done at 1,000 households with disabled family members in the city's countryside through 2025.

Parks, tourist attractions and cultural and sports venues will be encouraged to offer free admission or discounted tickets to the disabled, according to the plan.

Two thousand nursing beds for the disabled will be added in the city.

More cultural activities for the disabled will be organized, and libraries will be encouraged to provide Braille books.

An increasing number of sports venues and fitness facilities designed for the disabled will be built at local communities.

Construction of handicapped-friendly facilities will be expanded, including the establishment of barrier-free carriages on Metro trains and easy-access parking spaces in public parking lots, big residential complexes, government service venues, hospitals, hotels and shopping malls.

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