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More elderly care needed

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With one of the world's largest populations, and an annual growing rate of 3 percent, The country is now facing increasing pressure on providing better elderly care services. Our reporter Liu Yang went to Jinjiang district in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan province, to see what the local governement is doing to help the senior citizens.

Like many senior citizens who live on their own in the country(Sound-bite of pouring water) - 82-year-old Yan Yunfeng and his 85–year-old wife depend on each other for support. Their children work outside of Chengdu and do not visit them often. But thanks to the newly established all weather senior service system, whenever he needs help, (sound-bite of the man talking) at the press of button, he will be put through (Soundbite of phone ring) to the Senior Citizen Communications Assistance Center. They provide services like 24-hour emergency assistance, appliance repairs, health advice and shopping deliveries, all free of charge.

Yan Yunfeng, Jinjiang District resident, said,"We hope the government will provide more care services for elderly people. We wish to live the rest of the years of our lives in comfort. The community should organize more activities for the elderly."

Music, making handicrafts, table tennis, calligraphy, fitness exercises, and a delicious lunch afterwards. These are more than just entertainment to pass the time. These provide emotional support for the elderly, and play a big role in improving the quality of their lives. The Jinjiang district elderly care service also focuses on helping disadvantaged senior groups. The district has issued nearly forty thousand vouchers for use in the district service.

Ren Kai, Dept. of Civil Affairs, Jinjiang district, Chengdu, Sichuan, said,"Our service network covers the entire district. There are about 86,000 senior residents in the district, and all of them have received this benefit. "

The government's year 2011-2015 Elderly Care Service Plan, stipulates that elderly care service should be provided either at home or in the community. Private organizations are also needed to give priority support to the disabled elderly and the childless elderly.

Liu Yang said,"According to the statistics, the aging rate of china's population ranks first in the world, as of the end of 2011, China has nearly 300 million people reaches 60 years and older, which accounts for 22 percent of the world's elderly population; by the end of 2050, more than four hundred million people will be joining aging population. This has put more pressure on China to move quickly to create a sound care system for the elderly"

The Ministry of Civil Affairs records less than forty-thousand senior care organizations in the country. Mr. Yang Liangchu from the Institute of Fiscal Science, pointed out the deficiencies in the current system.

Yang Liangchu, researcher of Institute of Fiscal Science, said,"The lack of government policies to support Chinese senior care is the primary problem. It is not just support in terms of finance, but also land resources, credit, industry and the commerce system.

Experts say the government should promote the development of private senior care organizations, and give much-needed support to the elderly.


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