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April 28, 2014

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Shanghai Mayor: sharks won’t make killing from senior care

REAL estate sharks won’t be allowed to make a quick buck under the guise of providing senior care, Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong promised yesterday.

Although the market is enthusiastic about involvement in Shanghai’s growing senior care industry, the city must ensure safety measures are in place, Yang said.

He was speaking during a Shanghai Radio “mayor hotline” program, answering questions from city residents.

Measures including restrictions on the time span of land usage rights and pricing will weed out those simply seeking to generate quick returns through real estate speculation, Yang said.

Many social organizations have expressed their hopes of developing and designing senior care communities through building more facilities and service agencies for the elderly at newly built residential complexes, Yang said.

The government will provide more support for social forces in the industry because they are an important element in senior care services, he said.

Authorities will purchase senior care services to help facilitate the industry’s development, he said.

More beds will be added in downtown where there is a shortage of places in nursing homes, and the service level of private nursing homes lifted, Yang pledged.

The mayor also said more than 200,000 volunteers have teamed up with seniors living alone to help take care of them.

The number of senior citizens living in Shanghai is set to pass 6 million by 2025.

The figure rose 5.5 percent last year to 3.88 million, the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau said earlier.

Between 2010 and 2025 the average annual growth rate is forecast to be 5.7 percent.

As the population ages and more young families find they can’t take care of elderly relatives at home, vacancies in senior care facilities have become hard to find.

While the number of beds at registered nursing homes rose 3 percent last year to 108,364, the total represented just 2.8 percent of the city’s over-60s, the bureau said.

The city government has promised to add more beds in the future, but it is also encouraging more nonprofit groups to enter the sector to provide services for the elderly and to open  new nursing homes.


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