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Care scheme for city's seniors

THE city is working on a long-term insurance system to provide more seniors with the care they need.

The city's population over the age of 60 stood at more than 3 million at the end of last year, the local aging authorities said yesterday. More than 21 percent of the city's population is over 60, which is twice the national average. Almost 18 percent are over the age of 80.

The population over the age of 60 in Shanghai will reach between 5 and 6 million by 2030, the Shanghai Committee on Aging said yesterday.

The new plan is expected to include a fund to provide care for the elderly, a plan encouraging seniors to care for each other, and involve commercial insurance providers. Officials, however, didn't say when the system will be put into operation.

Officials said they will try to expand the coverage of endowment insurance in the countryside. Currently, about 98 percent of seniors in the countryside get a pension and medical insurance. The rest will be covered in the next two years, the committee said.

The city will also increase canteens in neighborhoods and rest home beds this year to meet the seniors' needs, officials said.

Shanghai had 836 residents over the age of 100 at the end of 2008, an increase of 78 from the year before.

That meant the city had six centenarians for every 100,000 residents.

Since 2006, Shanghai's 60-plus population has grown at an annual pace of 100,000 on average.


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