More assistance for Shanghai’s elderly
The founding of a new association that will provide better service for the growing number of elderly people in Shanghai was announced on July 4 at a forum on aging population.
This association will be jointly established by a hightech center specializing in the aid of elderly people and the trade union of the city’s information service industry.
Held at Hongkou Library in Shanghai, the forum comprised corporate representatives, police officers and social scientists who shared their ideas about ways the Internet can be used to improve the quality of life of elderly people.
Shanghai started to teach its elderly to use the Internet 15 years ago but their usage of it is largely limited to social media apps such as WeChat, according to research findings. The elderly population has also been vulnerable to online scams too, according to officer Huang Yi of the Shanghai Police.
The new association plans to work with corporate partners such as Alipay and Uber which will adapt their services to provide more elderlyfriendly editions.
Yin Zhigang, director of the Shanghai Aging Science Institute, revealed at the forum that analysis of the city’s aging population has been carried out since 1996. Shanghai is the only city in China that issues the survey results of its elderly people every year.
According to statistics, four out of 10 people with registered residences in Shanghai will be aged 60 or above by 2030. Research has also shown that Shanghai is one of the fastest aging cities in the world. The city’s elderly population was also found to enjoy better health than their counterparts in other Chinese cities.
“Shanghai’s aging population has been growing since 1979 and this is mainly due to a change in lifestyles and more advanced medical care,” said Yin.
By the end of 2015, 30.2 percent of the registered population in Shanghai were aged 60 and older, meaning that almost a third of the population can be considered elderly. “The number of senile people who are aged 80 years and above are growing too,” said Yin.
The first generation of Chinese who were under the “one child policy” are now reaching old age and the proportion of women in this group gets bigger as the age rises. In Shanghai, women on average retire at the age of 55 and they are expected to live for another 30 years. During this period, they are very likely to experience the death of their spouse, resulting in “longer periods of loneliness”, said Yin.