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English>>China Society

Short-term service helps ease burdens

By Wang Hongyi (China Daily)

08:36, October 23, 2012

A caregiver feeds a 98-year-old woman at the care center of Ruijin Erlu community in Shanghai on Aug 30. The center, founded in 1993, employs 36 professionals and takes care of 59 senior residents. [Photo/China Daily]

For the first several weeks after her husband had surgery on his gallbladder, Gu Xiafang had hardly a moment's rest.

From morning until night, the 68-year-old was busy nursing him and catering to his strict post-operation diet, as well as keeping up with her usual load of housework.

"My children don't live nearby, and anyway, they are very busy,” Gu said. A traditional nursing home is not a sensible solution either, as it only takes in seniors on a long-term contract and rejects residents who need to stay there for several days or a few weeks.

Help eventually arrived in the form of a short-term, professional-care service for the elderly, which kicked off recently at the nursing center close to the couple's home in Shanghai's Huangpu district.

In addition to providing suitable meals for the patient, the center in the Ruijin Erlu community provides comprehensive health checks.

"The center has been a great help to us,” Gu said.

The nursing center has been open since the early 1990s but began offering short-term services only this month as part of a government program to improve elderly care in Shanghai.

The new service costs about 100 yuan ($16) a day and allows elderly residents to stay for up to two weeks, giving residents who take care of their elderly family members at home the chance to take a break from their nursing duties.

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