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September 10, 2011

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Hangouts sought for seniors to have fun

AUTHORITIES and operators handling issues for seniors are looking for places where single older people can enrich their retirement life, after the "matchmaking corner" in IKEA, the international chain furniture and home-decorating store, aroused people's concern.

But they are meeting difficulties as not many venue owners are willing to provide free or low-cost services for seniors., the city's biggest senior service website, said it has found a bar whose owner is willing to open it for free for seniors during the daytime. The bar, Star Dak in Hongqiao, is expected to start receiving seniors holding activities early next month.

"This is actually a new attempt," said Wang Yong, director of the website. "We'll organize some activities for seniors, including matchmaking activities. We hope that it may do some change."

The bar, however, can hold only 100 people so more sites are needed, Wang said.

"And it only accepts theme activities we organize, which means seniors cannot go to the bar whenever they want to," he added.

The website is expected to develop more such venues for seniors, but the effort is not going smoothly. "It's really hard to persuade entertainment venues to spare time and place for seniors, who have relatively low economic ability," Wang said.

The issue of seniors' entertainment exploded into the limelight recently after the "matchmaking corner" in IKEA was revealed. As the outlet complained about some seniors' rude behavior, people called for more efforts to provide low-cost venues for the group.


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