China moves to improve elderly care in rural areas
Updated: June 15, 2024 07:06 Xinhua

BEIJING, June 14 -- The Chinese government has released a set of guidelines on accelerating the development of elderly care services in rural areas, representing a comprehensive and systematic national plan in this regard, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

The guidelines set targets that should be met by 2025. The rural elderly care service network should be further improved. The overall coverage rate of elderly care service centers at the township level should be no less than 60 percent.

China's population aged 60 and above has exceeded 296 million, new data showed. The country's large elderly base and rapidly aging population have led to growing demand for elderly care.

Elderly care services in China's rural areas are facing more urgent needs and problems are more prominent than those in urban areas. The proportion of elderly people aged 60 and above in rural areas is 23.81 percent, 7.99 percentage points higher than that for urban residents.

China has 16,000 rural elderly care nursing homes that collectively provide over 1.68 million beds. It owns around 145,000 mutual-aid elderly care facilities in rural areas, but the convenience and accessibility of these facilities need to be improved, according to the ministry.

State-owned and private enterprises are encouraged to operate elderly care service facilities in rural areas, per the guidelines.

In January, the State Council issued a document on promoting the development of the silver economy, proposing measures in areas such as food, housing, transportation, elderly care and elderly health management.

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