The Future Starts to Age: China's Elderly
(Beijing) - A 92-year-old nursing home resident in Beijing slumps in his wheelchair. Immobile and suffering from severe dementia, he requires daily care from nurses. Next to him, there are dozens more elderly patients sitting in wheelchairs, awaiting a scheduled activity or meal. These are the very fortunate. In cities across China, millions of elderly are facing a growing shortage of residential facilities and nursing services for senior citizens.
In Beijing, all public nursing homes are currently filled to capacity, with waiting lists that fill up and spill over in greater volume from one year to the next. Beijing's 3,800 retirement homes and 60,000 beds can't meet the needs of the 2.3 million senior citizens. By the end of 2009, there were 167 million people over the age of 60 in China, approximately 12.5 percent of the nation's total population. Of these, 18.99 million were over the age of 80 and 9.4 million were disabled.
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