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March 5, 2013

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City adds 5,000 senior care beds in 2013

SHANGHAI plans to add another 5,000 beds to senior care facilities by the end of the year to ease the acute shortage of elderly nursing homes, the city's civil affairs authorities said yesterday.

At the end of last year, the city had more than 600 nursing homes registered, with 105,200 beds, compared with the city's 3.47 million seniors aged above 60 as of the end of 2011. They accounted for about 24 percent of the city's total population.

Also on the agenda is building another 20 day-care service centers for the elderly and adding 40 spots for serving meals to seniors at residential complexes by the end of this year, said Ma Yili, director of the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.

The soaring number of the city's elderly population has added to population woes and some young families cannot take care of their elders at home. The situation is most acute for people with dementia or physical disabilities who require specialized care.

A local retiree surnamed Zhang recently sent her 86-year-old mother, who has dementia and other illnesses, to a hospital in Qingpu District. She still has her paralyzed father at home - she can't find a place for him in a nursing home.

"I contacted several nursing homes in Xuhui District, but I was told that either the waiting list for beds is very long or that they don't accept patients with dementia or physical disabilities," Zhang said.


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