Going out gracefully
Senior citizens in Shanghai spend their golden years living in luxury
The launch ceremony for Evergreen Homeland, a high-end facilitated living community, is attracting the eyes of wealthy Shanghai seniors. Unlike traditional nursing homes, Evergreen Homeland claims that its elderly residents will live in “grace and dignity” at their upscale facilities.
According to the Xinhua News Agency, Shanghai residents at and over the age of 60 accounted for over 30 percent of the city’s population in 2015. It was estimated, however, that 80 percent of local senior citizens will have only one adult child to take care of them due to China’s former family planning policies.
To accommodate the rising number of unattended elderly, suburban Minhang district increased its investment in senior care by encouraging the development of more privately run “old folks homes.” Evergreen Homeland, which provides nursing and social services for 1,700 seniors, is leading the way with its upmarket compound.
Evergreen Homeland boasts a facial recognition system so that senior residents needn’t fumble with keys or cards. Elastic wood flooring can prevent slips and absorb the impact of falls. And an intelligent detection program can automatically sense if any resident faints, instantly notifying medical staff.
A team of professionally trained nurses are on hand to provide healthcare, social activities and other services. Butlers, private chefs, dietitians and therapists are also available. The center’s kitchen uses fresh, organic food from a nearby 150acre farm to ensure that residents consume the healthiest and most nutritional meals.
Jin Tao, a 62-year-old film director who was invited to experience the butler service said, “My wife wanted to eat sweet dumplings for lunch, so we summoned our butler and he made arrangements. We all made sweet dumplings together and had a chat, like a family,” according to the website of NEY Evergreen Homeland.
Many senior citizens often suffer from loneliness either due to being abandoned by their adult children or losing their spouse. To make up for this, Evergreen Homeland encourages the participation of community events and public space interactions.
Lessons in art, history and philosophy will also be taught by teachers from the Shanghai University for the Elderly. “It is my favorite time of a day, studying in the classroom. When I become a student, age is no longer a barrier to me,” said one elderly resident at the launch ceremony.