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'Grid system' helps ensure well-being of elderly residents

By Jin Haixing (

08:55, November 12, 2012

Li Yuanyuan, a social worker in Beijing, learned that the 92-year-old Li Yajun was in need of some medicine while paying her a visit on Wednesday.

She responded by using a wireless terminal to send a message to a "grid service center", where she could enlist the help of social workers and ultimately ensure the elderly resident got the pills she was requesting. Beijing's urban management system divides communities into grids.

Those subdivisions are then managed, and social services are provided to them, with the use of databases that bring together information about residents, public institutions' resources and businesses.

The Qingshuiyuan community, in the city's Dongcheng district, is divided into two grids, each of which has a director and several workers assigned to it.

Also in the community are 980 people who, like Li Yajun, are older than 60 and have benefited from the social services offered through Beijing's urban grid management system.

It is the main daily task of Li Yuanyuan and others like her to look after the well-being of the elderly and disabled residents in the community.

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