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Beijing legislates on home-based old-age care

Beijing has passed a regulation on home-based old-age care, stipulating that children are obliged to support their aged parents.

The bill was passed during a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress on Thursday. The regulation, scheduled to take effect on May 1, is the country's first local legislation on home-based old-age care.

Under the regulation, children and other caregivers should offer economic and practical support as well as "spiritual consolation" to the elderly.

It also stipulates that the government should offer subsidies and old-age service facilities for the elderly with special difficulties, such as those living on a low income, suffering from disability or who have lost their only child.

The legislation defines the scope of responsibilities for the family and the government. It also includes provisions concerning such areas as construction of old-age service facilities in communities and medical and health services.

About 96 percent of elderly people in Beijing rely on home-based care, and the rest live in nursing institutions.

Liu Jigang, deputy director of the Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress, said the city's home-based old-age care suffers from various problems, such as lack of facilities and trained personnel and inadequate supply of pension services.

Liu said Beijing has become an increasingly aging society since 1990. The elderly population in the city is expanding by 6 percent annually. The number passed 3 million by the end of 2014, and it is expected to exceed 4 million by 2020.

China now has about 200 million people aged 60 and over. The number accounts for some 14 percent of the total population, and is expected to surge to 400 million in 2050. Over 90 percent of the aged people choose home-based pension support nationwide.


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