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Over 3,000 centenarians call Shanghai home

By CAO CHEN and HE QI in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2020-10-27 08:49
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Elderly residents take part in an art class at the day-care center in a citizen service station in Jiaxing sub-district, Shanghai's Hongkou district, on Aug 30. [Photo by Zhu Xingxin/]

The number of centenarians in Shanghai exceeded 3,000 for the first time, according to data released by the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau on Sunday.

As of Sept 30, Shanghai had 3,009 residents aged 100 and above, up from 2,729 last year, the data shows.

Among them, over 97 percent are between 100 and 105 years old. Women accounted for nearly 74 percent of the centenarians.

Xu Suzhen, a 113-year-old woman in Huangpu district, has been officially confirmed as the oldest person in the city for the third time, while the eldest man is Tao Ruisheng, aged 110, in Pudong New Area.

In addition, the city has four centenarian couples, including 103-year-old Yang Zhulin and his wife Hu Dongxiang, aged 100, who live in Pudong New Area.

"The long-lived population in Shanghai has kept increasing in recent years, which demonstrates the upgrading of healthcare services for the elderly in the city," said Zhou Haiwang, deputy director at the institute of population and development at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

According to the data, the number of centenarians in Shanghai has jumped nearly eightfold from 2000 to 2019.

"The city has been fostering the development of senior care service institutions and medical services, and promoting community services by establishing senior care centers with multiple functions such as day care, catering and consultation," Zhou said.

Given that there are 1,949 people aged 99 in Shanghai, he predicted the number of centenarians will continue to surge in the future.

"Longevity depends on good daily habits as well, which are significant for the senior's quality of life so they can stay healthy and be able to take care of themselves. Their experiences are also valuable to learn from, especially for the young generation," he added.

For instance, Zhou Lingdi, 102, said she usually gets up at 5 am and goes to sleep at 6 pm. She strolls in the neighborhood, cooks, washes clothes and reads the newspaper every day.

"I'm also happy that my daughter-in-law cares for me. Without her I wouldn't be so delighted," she said.

Ying Fulin, 101, shared her healthy eating habits, which include consuming less fried food and not overeating.

"One should limit screen time for television and computers every day and go to see a doctor whenever you feel uncomfortable," Ying said.

Shanghai was first recognized as an area where people live the longest in 2010, and 18.6 per 100,000 people were 100 years of age and older in the city in 2019.

"The focus on senior care in the future will further improve the service in communities where the elderly spend most of their time," Zhou Haiwang said.

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