Elders suffering in Beijing nursing home crisis

March 26th, 2012 - 6:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, March 26 (IANS) With Beijing’s ageing population compelled to wait for years together for a bed in welfare houses, the capital city is presently confronted with a nursing home crisis, a media report said.

According to the Beijing News, one such example is of 90-year-old Zhang Yinsheng, a resident of Beijing who has been refused by several public nursing homes repeatedly telling him “no beds available”.

The paper cited another example of Zhao Fen who registered in the city’s two public welfare houses four years ago. But he has been told to keep waiting as no beds are available, the China Daily reported.

Beijing had 401 nursing homes by the end of 2011 including 215 public nursing homes and 186 private ones, meaning 2.9 beds for every 100 senior citizens, according to statistics of Beijing Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau.

A welfare house told the paper that they have 1,100 beds available and over 7,000 people in waiting and said: “One has to wait for at least 10 years if he or she applies now.”

Other public welfare houses are also full and each has several hundreds in waiting.

Some refuse to receive elderly people who cannot take care of themselves. “Those who can take care of themselves are still waiting,” said public welfare house staff.

By 2015, there will be 3.2 million people over 60 years old registered in Beijing, some 23 percent of the city’s household registered population. There will be 540,000 over 80 years old, accounting for four percent of the total population.

According to the Beijing Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau, the city plans to build 100 welfare service centres with 10,000 beds in 2012.

There will be 120,000 beds for elderly people by 2015, meeting the needs of just 4 percent of the total elderly population.

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