Shanghai strives to make it perfect for the elderly

Hu Min
Anastasija Puzankova of Latvia, a former director of the Jiufeng Senior Home in Qingpu District, recalls being astounded by their longevity and enthusiasm.
Hu Min

Shot by Ma Xuefeng. Edited by Zhong Youyang. Subtitles by Wang Xinzhou and Alexander Bushroe.

Anastasija Puzankova of Latvia, who has been living in Shanghai for 18 years, is the former director of the Jiufeng Senior Home in Liantang Town, Qingpu District.

She studied Chinese for two years in Latvia and then pursued law at Fudan University.

During a recent interview, Puzankova remembered being surprised when she first met the residents of the home.

"I was surprised by their age and discovered that Chinese seniors have a long life," she said. "I remember them as healthy, enthusiastic, and vigorous."

She treated them as her grandparents and won their hearts.

She is now researching topics related to the elderly care industry and has been participating in an inclusive community project.

Shanghai is going all out to ensure a quality, happy life for its elderly citizens, particularly those who live alone in a society with a large aging population.

The city is developing a comprehensive senior-oriented service network and is meeting the growing need for efficient, convenient, and equitable senior-care services.

A safer and more age-friendly living environment for older residents is being created citywide.

A "15-minute community life circle" is being established throughout the city, giving residents access to services such as meals, fitness, nursing, and health care within a 15-minute walk of their homes.

A canteen that serves hot meals close to seniors' homes is exactly what they require. Meals from the community canteens will be delivered to the homes of those with physical disabilities.

Senior-friendly gyms are also popping up all over Shanghai. They are mostly built in local communities and are designed and geared toward the physical needs of those over the age of 55.

Shanghai is one of China's first aging cities. The number of people aged 60 and up reached 5.42 million by the end of 2021, accounting for 36.3 percent of permanent residents, up from 36.1 percent in 2020.

At the end of September, Shanghai had 3,689 centenarians, a record number. The resident who is the oldest is 112 years old.

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