Airbnb encourages elderly to integrate into community
House-sharing service provider Airbnb Inc will provide training for the elderly in China to improve their quality of life and help them participate in social and cultural activities.
The US-based company signed in early September a memorandum of understanding with Home Huashou, a social service organization registered by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and under the jurisdiction of the National Commission on Ageing. It mainly provides community old-age care services.
Mike Orgill, head of public policy for Airbnb Asia-Pacific region, said: “We are very honored to be a formal partner of Home Huashou and the two parties will work together to care for the elderly people.”
Orgill said the company hopes to make contributions to China’s ageing issue and encourage the elderly to integrate into the community better after retirement.
At present, Home Huashou offers specialized lodging services for the elderly. Through the cooperation, Airbnb will also launch related supporting projects and training courses about elderly people, with an expectation to establish a successful old-age support model in China.
Founded in 2008 and based in San Francisco, Airbnb may be the sharing-economy leader. It has connected 50 million users in more than 34,000 cities of 190 countries.
TheChinese mainland is the fastest-growing market for Airbnb, according to the lodging website.
Xiao Caiwei, deputy director of the National Commission on Ageing, said: “China’s aged population is increasing and we have a great concern about this issue. The government encourages and supports this cooperation with Airbnb. We expect to explore a new sustainable mode of caring for the elderly.”
“We hope to introduce advanced modes and experience from foreign countries through collaboration with Airbnb to serve the Chinese ageing population,” said Chen Zhaohui, director of Home Huashou.
China has the world’s largest number of senior citizens. There were more than 220 million people aged 60 or older in China by the end of 2015, 16 percent of the total population.