China to tackle old-age care in single-child families

Updated: 2015-04-02 11:33


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China to tackle old-age care in single-child families

An elderly woman (middle) receives the paper cutting cut into Chinese character "福" (fu), meaning 'blessing' or 'happiness' in English. [Photo/]

BEIJING - China will explore a new method to share the responsibility of elderly care for single-child families as it seeks to tackle the swelling senior population, a health authority publication reported Thursday.

In attempt to ease the high pressure faced by the single-child generation, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) will launch a pilot program that seeks to pool trained personnel who can provide community health services.

Nursing, health care, companion and first-aid services will be provided with a priority for single-child families with financial difficulties and bed-bound seniors, Health News reported Thursday.

The pilot will involve 37 communities and organizations, including Xicheng district of Beijing and Weifang city of Shandong province.

These 37 pilot programs will explore new techniques to procure government services, foster old-age care enterprises and facilities that run on-demand and customized catering, cleaning, bathing and medical services.

They will support and incentivized enterprises to design new household old-age care models with technological tools such as the Internet of Things.

China's family planning policy was first introduced in the late 1970s to rein in the surging population by limiting most urban couples to one child. It has not been relaxed until recently.

Seniors in China has been traditionally taken care of by their children, which posed no concern when they had more than one child to turn to.

However, as the first generation of single child families face the responsibility of caring for their parents, the stress of balancing elder care and work life, which could impact the national economy, is looming.