Growing Old, with Dignity
Governments, Organizations Explore Ways of Providing Better Care to Aged让“老去”更有尊严
Figures released by China's Ministry of Civil Affairs indicated China had 220 million (or 16 percent of the population) residents aged 60 or greater by the end of 2015. As China is rapidly becoming an aging society, and as an increasing number of seniors are living without their children, caring for the aged is an issue that is generating much concern across the country. Some experts suggest the issue is becoming a serious social problem. Therefore, efforts must be made to solve difficulties in the provision for the aged, so the elderly can live their remaining years in comfort.
As difficulties in providing for the aged have aroused general concern in recent years, different regions of the country have begun exploring ways to provide better services to the aged.
China's first generation of "only children," who were born during the 1970s or 1980s, are now grown and have families and careers of their own. As many of the "only children" have to cope with intense daily pressures and incredibly tight work schedules, they cannot return home to visit their parents frequently. As a result, their elders feel lonely.
Shang Yun, a deputy to Shanghai Municipal People's Congress, is president of Shanghai Qinheyuan Hospital. She says there is a great need for social support, especially as many "only children" have little time to take care of their parents. Yet, social security measures are inadequate to meet people's needs, and only a small number of senior citizens live in homes (with relatively complete facilities) for the aged.
An elderly person cannot depend solely on his/her "only child" for support and care, says Shang. Efforts should be made to improve China's social security system to provide for the aged.
Most elderly Chinese prefer to spend their remaining