China improves home-based care services for senior citizens

Updated: Jan 17, 2024 Xinhua Print
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BEIJING -- China has provided over 235,000 home-based care beds for senior citizens nationwide and aims to supply more with standardized service quality, authorities said on Sunday.

Statistics released on the sidelines of the national civil affairs work conference held on Sunday showed that a total of 418,000 senior people had been provided with home-based care services.

Provided by workers with professional capabilities, home-based care services can better meet the demands of disabled senior people. The living places of these senior citizens are appropriately modified, including the provision of smart appliances and handrails in bathrooms.

Home-based care services for senior people featured as an innovative reform pilot project during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020). During the current 14th Five-Year Plan, the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the Ministry of Finance are jointly working on a program to improve China's home- and community-based basic care services for senior citizens, pouring considerable assets into providing more care service beds for disabled senior citizens with economic disadvantages.

Different from some other countries, over 90 percent of senior people in China prefer to stay at home instead of living in nursing homes. However, this tradition has caused difficulties for the families of disabled senior people.

According to official statistics, China has about 40 million senior citizens with either a disability or a half-disability. As of the third quarter of 2023, the country had only 8.2 million beds in all kinds of elderly care facilities.

Home-based care services allow senior citizens to enjoy the services of professional institutions without leaving home, reducing the burden on their families and alleviating the scenario of "one person is disabled and the whole family is imbalanced."

An unnamed official from the Ministry of Civil Affairs said that in the next phase, the functional positioning, service content, and service quality of home-based care will be further clarified by improving standards and specifications, risk prevention and control will be carried out to effectively solve the professional care needs of disabled elderly at home, while the formation of a sustainable development model will also be promoted.

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