Advisers want senior-friendly renovation

Hu Min
Proposal from 22 advisers calls for a safer and more convenient life for Shanghai's population of senior residents as the number of people over the age of 60 continues to increase. 
Hu Min

A proposal filed to the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference is calling for the renovation of old residences to make room for senior-friendly facilities.

The aim is to make life safer and more convenient for senior citizens and will comprises building renovations, furniture and decoration, assistive devices and intelligent equipment, according to a proposal submitted by 22 advisers.

By the end of 2018, Shanghai's senior population had surged to around 5 million, or about a third of its permanent residents. Among them, 817,000 were 80 years old or older.

It is estimated that there will be nearly 1.5 million families with at least one member above the age of 60 in Shanghai's downtown districts this year, with more than 320,000 of them over 80. And the figure keeps growing, according to the proposal.

In Shanghai, 90 percent of senior citizens rely on home care because of a shortage of facilities and due to traditional values, the proposal says.

Government authorities have provided many support services for the elderly such as meal venues, daycare centers and voluntary services, while the renovation of their homes was even more important, particularly for seniors above 80, or who have physical disabilities, the proposal says.

There was a need for improved hardware and an increase in assistive devices for senior citizens, the proposal says.

Standards in making homes more senior friendly are absent, and many construction companies do not have the necessary experience, failing to achieve the desired result and leading to extra costs and disputes, advisers said.

The proposal called for including renovation into the government's projects and drafting standards.

An evaluation system should be established with different solutions offered based on demand, and preferential policies such as subsidies can be introduced, the proposal suggests.

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