Make me your Homepage
left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Live-in caregiver plan raises concerns

Updated: 2014-05-27 07:15
( China Daily)

A new eldercare service in Shanghai has been suspended following a storm of criticism questioning the professionalism of its workers and risks to seniors.

The "night guardian angel" program was initiated last year by the Pudong-based Huoban Jujia Senior Care Service Agency.

Under the program, young people with nursing and rehabilitation qualifications can sign agreements with elderly who need care.

Based on the agreements, the caregivers move into the seniors' homes to take care of them at night.

These young people are expected to care for the elderly in lieu of rent, while the elderly can save on their nursing fees by providing the accommodation.

The program received 195,000 yuan ($31,250) in financial aid from the Shanghai Charity Foundation, a non-profit group which received support by the city's civil affairs authorities.

But a number of netizens raised concerns about the program - they questioned the qualifications of the young people to provide care and worried about safety.

Some said the elderly might be bullied by dubious caregivers or tenants who are not screened properly.

The program's founder, Yang Lei, said it has strict criteria when looking for young people.

Meanwhile, the agreements will be protected by law and signed on a voluntary basis.

A survey on involving several thousand netizens showed that more than 80 percent of respondents were opposed to the program.

The Pudong branch of the Shanghai Charity Foundation has also carried out a risk assessment on the program, which has since been put on hold.

Demand for the program exists, but given the current social and legal environment in China, it needs to be further improved, the foundation said.

"The program will be restarted when conditions are ripe," the foundation said via its micro blog.

Wang Hongyi

Hot Topics
Wei Guirong drives his granddaughters from kindergarten on his home-made three-wheeled vehicle in Luorong county, Liuzhou city of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on May 19.