Ministry posts rules for care of the elderly
The central government has released draft rules covering elderly care institutions to standardize practices and services.
The Ministry of Civil Affairs rules will be online for public consultation until November 12.
The draft requires nursing homes to provide telecom services, including telephone and Internet, and if residents have problems with such services, institutions should provide professional staff to help them.
Staff should treat the elderly with politeness and patience, keeping the private information of residents and visitors confidential. The environment and facilities must be safe and protect privacy, the draft says.
Nursing homes should make public service programs and charging standards, and set out rules for addressing complaints. Complaints should be responded to within 10 working days.
The draft also requires nursing homes to offer hospice services, but not before staff have received relevant training.
China had more than 230.8 million people aged 60 or above at the end of 2016, 16.7 percent of the total population, according to a ministry report.
By international standards, a country or region is considered an “aging society” when the number of people aged 60 or above reaches 10 percent or more of the population.
The country had 140,000 nursing homes with a total exceeding 7.3 million beds at the end of 2016, representing a year-on-year increase of 20.7 percent and 8.6 percent respectively.
However, currently there are only 31.6 beds for every 1,000 senior citizens.