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Forum discusses care options for elderly

By Liu Zhihua ( chinadaily.com.cn ) Updated: 2014-05-09 17:20:59

A forum focused on community- and home-based care for the elderly was held this week in Beijing, during the International Senior Care Expo.

Government officials and representatives from senior care institutes, both at home and abroad, attended the forum, which was initiated by the China Association of Social Welfare and organized by Beijing Right at Home, a social enterprise that provides home-based care and health services to the elderly.

China has only 5 million beds in geriatric hospitals and nursing institutes for its approximately 200 million senior citizens, including 37.5 million that have partly lost their ability to function in daily life.

Therefore, the country has a large demand for community- and home-based care services for seniors, said Feng Xiaoli, vice-president of the China Association of Social Welfare.

It is important to have an infrastructure and professional caregivers that are easily accessible to senior citizens and their families, Feng said.

Li Ang, an executive with Beijing Right at Home, said health-friendly communities for seniors should ensure that elderly people can live quality lives alone. There should be good facilities and infrastructure for them to exercise, enough activities for them to be socially engaged, and instant health care available, Li said.

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