Measures to care for the elderly on target

Shanghai saw 6,000 additional beds in local nursing homes for the elderly last year compared to 2016, lifting the number to 138,000. The target is 159,000 by 2020.

Shanghai had more than 700 nursing homes for elderly residents with nearly 138,000 beds by the end of last year, an increase of some 6,000 beds from 2016, the city's civil affairs bureau announced on Monday.

The goal is to have 159,000 beds in elderly care institutions by 2020, a target set by local government in its 13th Five Year-Plan (2016-20).

Of 706 nursing homes, 287 have medical facilities while the others cooperate with community healthcare centers or other institutions.

Some 560 daytime service centers have been built to offer services to the elderly while over 700 support sites provide meals. More than 5,600 senior entertainment rooms are open to the public and some 300 community elderly care organizations provide home-based care for senior citizens.

In the "Old Buddy Program," a volunteer project, 40,000 healthier and younger seniors help 200,000 older people who live alone. The program helps 1,000 poor families every year with house renovations to make the houses easier for old people to live in.

New types of elderly care service institutions are also emerging in Shanghai. In downtown areas, district governments have set up two kinds of elderly care institutions, one for short stays and the other for integrated services. The homes provide short-term accommodation and daily care for the elderly under circumstances such as those requiring rehabilitation after leaving hospital or when families need a break.

By the end of 2017, 129 such elderly care homes have been established in downtown and urbanized rural areas, realizing the goal of at least one in each neighborhood or town.

The integrated community elderly care centers, consisting of the elderly care home, daytime care center, meal support site and medical institute, are more like a hub of package service for the old, where they can enjoy different services in one complex. Shanghai now has 100 such complexes.

Mutual care between village groups is being promoted in the city's outskirts. Seniors are encouraged to offer meals, baths and entertainment events to each other at their own houses. About 500 model neighborliness sites have been set up.

The city also has an evaluating system for the elderly which has been running for three years, grouping those requiring care in six levels — level 6 is the highest with the most urgent demand for care.

More than 80,000 local seniors had applied for evaluation by the end of last year with nearly 75,000 receiving the service.

According to Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, last year 22,300 people were trained in elderly care skills, far surpassing the goal of training 15,000.

A report released in March last year showed that Shanghai has nearly 4.6 million citizens aged above 60, about 800,000 of whom are in their 80s and 110,000 in their 90s.

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