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Comprehensive services offered

By Zhu Lixin in Wuzhen | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-17 07:25

Comprehensive services offered

Wuzhen Chunxitang Seniors Service Center currently has more than 4,000 registered senior members[Photo/China Daily]

Seniors enjoy medical care, clubs catering to their interests

After enjoying cupping, an acupressure technique of traditional Chinese medicine, at Wuzhen Chunxitang Seniors Service Center, Qiu Xiuying went to the dining hall for her supper.

Though Chunxitang has been in operation for a year, Qiu, 73, only recently registered at the center, which now has more than 4,000 registered senior members in the town.

With a digital card given by the center to each member, the seniors can enjoy more than 80 specific services at the center or four branches in the three local communities and a village.

"Some services have to be paid for, while most of them are free", said Dai Yong, vice-president of Chunxitang, a company headquartered in Shanghai which established the center in Wuzhen in 2015.

The cupping service costs Qiu 30 yuan ($4.4) each time, and she had deposited money eight times in advance for a month of treatment.

If she wants, Qiu can also join some specific clubs such as a dancing group, but Qiu said she still needs sometime to find out what she really likes.

Qiu's husband died five years ago and her two daughters do not live with her, so she enjoys the community spirit the center offers her.

Comprehensive services offered

Qiu Xinying, 73, enjoys her life at Wuzhen Chunxitang Seniors Service Center. [Photo/China Daily]

After the meal, Qiu went home, telling the workers in the center that she would see them the next day, as she would attend a weekly course training seniors how to use Wechat.

The woman wears a device the size of a Zippo lighter,on a cord hanging around her neck."

"The device, given to each of the center's members, tracks the seniors' position and sends messages to the center as soon as a fall to the ground is sensed", said Dai.

"Among the around 50,000 residents of Wuzhen, 15,700 are seniors aged over 60, and about 57 percent of the seniors live alone or with their spouses", said Dai.

Two years ago, the local government introduced Chunxitang to Wuzhen. As the service for senior citizens falls in the scope of social welfare, the government provided the company with some money, so that it can provide seniors with some public services.

Qiu and other seniors go to the center for a health check, including a blood pressure and heartbeat examination. The results are sent via Wechat not only to the seniors themselves, but also to their families.

More importantly, the results will be recorded in a cloud platform for health administration. Medical professionals at the center provide health advice to the seniors according to the digital archives.

The cloud platform is part of Wuzhen Intelligent and Integrated Care Service Platform for the Elderly.

The platform practices integrated management of intensive healthcare and home-based services for the elderly, with help of the online information platform, internet applications and Internet of Things technology, according to Dai.

"It records and analyzes comprehensive information about the elderly, and provides it to their family members, medical institutions and healthcare professionals", said Dai.

On the digital card given to each senior, there is a QR code. Scanning the code with a smartphone application available to the workers in the center, updated health information about the seniors is displayed.

"Seniors centers are quite common in China nowadays, but most of them don't have a professional medical team. As a result, once the seniors suffer certain illnesses, they have to be sent to hospitals", said Dai.

As an official pilot program, the Chunxitang center has established a health clinic, so that it can treat certain illnesses and allow the seniors to use health insurance.

"Allowing health insurance to be used in our center is a major breakthrough in senior services", said Dai.

"The seniors all have residential health insurance or those for retired employees. However, services for senior citizens and medical treatment fall in different scopes, administered by the government's civil administration department and health department, respectively", said Dai.

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