China / Society

Beijing to build massive downtown nursing home

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-12-20 13:18

BEIJING - Beijing is to build a massive nursing home in its downtown area to cater for rising demand for senior care.

The construction of the nursing home, located by West Dawang Road in the Central Business District in Chaoyang district, will begin at the end of December and the facility is expected to open in 2014, according to the district's civil affairs department.

The 460-bed nursing home is funded by the government and will cost nearly 200 million yuan ($31.8 million), an official with the department said at at the Beijing International Senior Industry Expo 2012, which opened on Wednesday.

Featuring apartments and a recreation center, the nursing home will cover more than 20,000 square meters, with three storeys underground and 10 storeys above ground.

Chaoyang district plans to have 78 nursing homes by the end of 2015, which almost doubles the current number.

Figures provided by Beijing's Civil Affairs Bureau show the city's nursing homes have some 82,000 beds for senior citizens, but only about half of them are taken.

The openings are mostly available in remote suburbs, which can be inconvenient for family members to visit.

Regardless of the openings, the bureau maintains that Beijing's senior care capacity still lags far behind demand, estimated between 120,000 and 150,000 beds, or almost three for every 100 citizens aged 60 or above.

China had 190 million people at or above the age of 60 at the end of last year, according to the China National Committee on Aging. It is estimated that the figure will top 200 million next year and that, by 2050, one third of the Chinese population will be aged 60 or over.

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