China's elder-care services to reach households

Updated: 2013-05-01 19:26


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BEIJING - Home and neighborhood-based elder-care services will be available in all of China's urban communities and half of its rural areas by the end of 2015, the country's vice minister of civil affairs vowed on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Second China International Senior Services Expo, Dou Yupei also said that by 2015, the country will have 30 nursing-home beds for every 1,000 senior citizens, basically enough to meet demand.

China is facing a grave challenge from an aging population, with the number of people aged over 60 having reached 194 million last year, and the figure is expected to top 200 million this year, Dou said.

Moreover, a large number of people among the elderly population have disabilities, are over the age of 80, live alone or in poverty, according to the vice minister.

He added that the Chinese government is now providing subsidies for citizens aged over 80 in 18 of the country's provincial-level regions and offering allowances for elders in 22 regions who have difficulties in their livelihoods.