Opinion / From the Press

The elderly need proper help

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-12-08 08:02
Transforming a hotel into a nursing home is a welcome move for the benefit of senior citizens, elderly care centers and society as a whole. More such decisions need to be taken for the healthy development of the elderly care sector, says an article in Guangzhou Daily. Excerpts:

A three-star hotel in the Hongkou district of Shanghai has reportedly been turned into an old age home to cash in on the rising demand for elderly care. The average monthly charge person of almost 5,000 yuan ($813), however, is not what many people in China can afford to pay.

Indeed, the fast rising aging population in China poses a problem. But to deal with it we have to first focus on some key issues, for which we can learn from some developed societies that already have quite a high proportion of aged people.

China does not have enough provisions for public services for senior citizens. For example, it doesn't have enough old age homes in big cities. Therefore, transforming some hotels into old age homes will help senior citizens, the elderly care sector and the wider society.

An aging population can be an opportunity for the development of some sectors such as old age homes and pension funds. The government has launched several policies to expedite the development of services for elderly people, but some obstacles remain.

The dearth of land for building old age homes is a major one. The authorities, therefore, should provide land for elderly care centers, including allowing existing hotels and other commercial establishments not doing good business to be transformed into elderly care centers. This will save precious construction costs.

It is important that businesspeople seize such opportunities and the authorities help them to do so to cash in on the rising demand for old age homes and help senior citizens. The authorities should also ensure that the services provided in such homes are of the highest quality.

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