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February 20, 2014

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Care homes to get 5,000 beds

THE city government said yesterday it will make 5,000 new beds available this year at its senior care homes in a bid to alleviate an acute shortage.

At the end of last year Shanghai had 631 registered homes and 108,364 beds. By the end of next year, the number of people aged over 60 in the city is forecast to pass 4.3 million, or nearly 30 percent of the total population, up from about 26 percent at present.

The government also this year plans to build a further 20 day care centers for the elderly and add 40 canteens serving meals to seniors at residential complexes, Shi Xiaolin, director of the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, said.

Trials are also under way of 40 residential communities featuring smart technologies that allow seniors to live independent, but safe lives, Shi said.

The huge rise in the number of seniors in Shanghai, plus the inability of many young couples to care for elderly relatives has increased the pressure on the government to provide facilities.

The situation is most acute for elderly people with mental or physical problems who need the most care.



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