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Shanghai trials home-based senior-care services


Several districts in Shanghai are trialling replicating senior-care services in the private homes of senior residents to tackle the surging demand amid an acute shortage of senior-care facilities, a forum heard on Monday.

Shanghai's elderly population grew more than 114,000, or 2.1 percent, in 2022 from a year earlier, the city's senior work office announced last month. The number of people aged 60 or above reached 5.54 million by the end of last year, or 36.8 percent of permanent residents, compared with 36.3 percent from 2021.

Family-based senior-care bed service involves a set of services and an operations mechanism.

Following the installation of senior-care beds at the homes of elderly citizens with certain level of physical disability and cognitive disorder, staffers from senior-care service agencies would provide professional and consistent nursing services for the elderly residents based on their needs and demand.

"It is a kind of embedded senior-care service different from any other service available before, and it requires the integration of service suppliers, communities and families," said Zhang Xiaoyi, Party secretary of the School of International and Public Affairs of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

The practice is implemented by the Fuyuan Aging Care Service Co in Huangpu, Jing'an, Changning districts and the Pudong New Area, incorporating community wellness, elderly-oriented rehabilitation, home-based nursing services, intelligent monitoring and medical care services.

"In Jing'an District, a home senior-care bed service system is being established, breaking the barrier of families, communities and senior-care service providers based on service supply, supervision and management, and policy support," said Jiao Zhiyong, director of Jing'an District Civil Affairs Bureau.

"It breaks the separated service mode of different parts, and features the combination of home-based beds, beds at senior homes, nursing beds for the sick and elderly citizens and hospice care, providing all-round medical and senior-care service for elderly citizens and satisfying their health demands in different stages, under the cooperation of health and medical security authorities," Jiao said.

"It is suggested that an intelligent approach is taken to establish a complete payment mechanism and risk prevention, monitoring, alarm and handling management mechanism to ensure that one-stop nursing service is delivered to elderly citizens," said Zhang.

The forum focusing on home-based senior-care bed service brought together government officials, scholars, professors and industry insiders and aimed to break the bottleneck of the development of family-based senior care bed service, explore a sustainable service mode and satisfy the home senior care demand of elderly citizens.

By the end of 2022, the city had registered 729 senior homes with 163,600 beds, up 3.2 percent from a year earlier.