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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Adviser calls for more professional rest homes

By Shan Juan (China Daily)

09:36, March 14, 2012

China should set up professional rest homes with rehabilitation functions for an ever-increasing number of elderly people, particularly those depending on others partially or fully for daily life, so that they can live independently again, urged political adviser Xu Shuqiang.

According to Xu, director of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, China has around 180 million people aged 60 and older and 19 percent of them need assistance to some degree to handle their daily lives.

"However, the country now has few old-age care institutions that can provide professional rehabilitative care," said Xu, also executive deputy director of the Chinese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Currently, the elderly who are unable to live independently due to illness or disability mainly live at home or in rest homes with no rehabilitation capacities or facilities, putting huge pressures on their families and on society in general, he said.

"Some of them actually have a chance to recover with timely treatment, but miss the best time."
Worse, due to the country's family planning policy, the tradition that the old are looked after by their children could hardly be maintained, he noted.

"With four parents and one child, it's almost mission impossible for a couple to take good care of the elderly, especially disabled ones," he said.

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