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Few seniors willing to move to nursing homes

(Xinhua)

08:09, July 11, 2012

The number of elderly people in China who are willing to spend their twilight years in nursing homes is decreasing, according to survey results released on Tuesday.

According to the survey, conducted by the China Research Center on Aging, 11.3 percent of respondents in urban areas said they are willing to stay in nursing homes, adding that they would be able to afford an average monthly fee of 1,016 yuan ($160).

Meanwhile, 12.5 percent of respondents in rural areas said they would be willing to live in a nursing home, adding that they would be able to afford just 172 yuan a month.

The survey, which began in December 2010, interviewed 19,986 elderly people in 160 locales.

"The majority of elderly people still prefer to live in communities they are familiar with and enjoy life with their families," aid Wu Yushao, director of the China Research Center on Aging.

Wu attributed declining desire to live in nursing homes to expanded property ownership among the elderly, improved home care services and expanding social security coverage.

Wu warned that China still lacks sufficient services and faces the challenge of dealing with an increasing number of elderly people who do not have relatives living nearby who can care for them.

The survey revealed that 54 percent of elderly people in urban areas were "empty nesters" in 2010, while 45.6 percent of elderly people in rural areas lived alone that year.

China has 184.99 million citizens aged 60 or above, according to figures from the China National Committee on Aging.

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