Local elderly in for more services, facilities

Last year, 42 local communities and towns tried the "service package," a pilot program designed to better serve the elderly. This year, the program will be expanded.

More nursing services and elderly care facilities will be added this year to cater to growing need among the local population, civil affairs officials said on Wednesday.

Last year, 42 communities and towns tried the “service package,” a pilot program designed to better serve the elderly. This year, the program will be expanded, said Zhu Qinhao, director of the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.

Tianmu Road W. Community, where one out of three residents is aged 60 or above, is one of the pioneers. It has designed and provides more than 30 services — from meal delivery to maintenance of home appliances — to senior residents. 

The services are either free or cost very little. The seniors can choose what they need and make their own “service package” instead of just being fed with services they actually don’t need, said Zhang Yuanying, a community team member. 

Besides, building 50 new community-based service centers and 80 new day-care centers for the elderly is part of the government's agenda this year. Also, 7,000 nursing beds will be added.

Zhu revealed in a radio interview last year that Shanghai’s aging population has grown to 4.58 million, accounting for nearly 32 percent of the total population.

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