Go­ing out grace­fully

Senior cit­i­zens in Shang­hai spend their golden years liv­ing in lux­ury

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

Pho­tos: Cour­tesy of NEY In­ter­na­tional

(Left and bot­tom) Pub­lic ac­tiv­ity space at, and a panoramic view of, NEY Ev­er­green Home­land (Be­low) Launch cer­e­mony for NEY Ev­er­green Home­land was held in Shang­hai.

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