The story appears on

Page A4

September 29, 2010

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Society

Improving lives for the elderly

THE city is taking new measures to improve the lives of the elderly, especially those living alone or who have limited income, the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau told local legislators yesterday.

Old people who live in their own homes but are unable to cover basic living and medical expenses can mortgage their apartments to the city's housing fund in exchange for home-help services and government subsidies for the rest of their lives.

The practice, first introduced in Japan in the 1980s, will be on trial from next year and further promoted over the next five years, the bureau said. It believes it can help several million old people enjoy a high quality of life without increasing their financial burden.

The bureau did not say whether the mortgaged apartment can be redeemed or be taken by the center when the elderly person died.

In addition to the financial help, Ma Yili, director of the civil affairs bureau, said it will offer more psychological consulting services for old people, involving volunteers who had served at the World Expo and other trained workers.

Gao Huifen, a deputy to the Shanghai People's Congress, the local legislature, proposed that Expo volunteers be kept as long-term volunteers, with some, especially university students and those majoring in psychology, ensuring better care of old people's mental health.

"When old people benefit from the practice, it also becomes an internship base for college students who are able to gain more experience," Gao said.

Ma added that the bureau would select people in their 40s and 50s and train them to provide psychological services to the elderly and help the current 115 social workers serving old people at present.

At the end of last year, people aged 60 and older numbered about 3.15 million, or 22.5 percent of the city's registered population. In five years, that's expected to climb to 4 million and account for nearly 30 percent of the population. There will be 5 to 6 million elderly people in the city by 2030.

More than 180,000 elderly people are living on their own and more that 922,000 are in families where there are no young people.

The life expectancy for Shanghai residents is now 81 years.

Meanwhile, the civil affairs bureau has called for legislation on the management of nursing homes.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend