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China's Post-60s Generation Promote the Elderly Industry Upgrading

By RAN ZHENGICHONGQING|Oct 05,2022

Chongqing- The post-60 generation has entered retirement life one after another. Many post-60s are no longer satisfied with the traditional retirement life but seeking happiness in continuous learning and making a difference. Some elderly, relevant departments and experts shared their insights on the day of the Double Ninth Festival, October 4.

Members of the Qianjiang District Taiji Association for the Elderly are performing Taiji.

Members of the Qianjiang District Taiji Association for the Elderly are performing Taiji. (Visual Chongqing/ Yang Ming)

The Double Ninth Festival falls on the ninth day of the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. In Chinese folklore, the number nine is the largest – it’s a homonym for the Chinese word jiu, which contains the auspicious meaning of “a long and healthy life.”

More independent and more entertaining

Zhang Yongli, a resident of Dadukou District, looks much younger than her age with her delicate makeup, slim figure, and fashionable hairstyle.

In her early 60s, she is the youngest daughter in her family. Zhang said that due to the change in the growth environment, she has a different conception of retirement than her mother and elder siblings. She is pursuing her own life.

“I loved art since childhood, but I lacked professional guidance. After retirement, I have plenty of time and money, so I sign up for the folk dance classes at Dadukou District University for the Elderly. Now I’m good at Mongolian and Tibetan dance,” said Zhang.

She believes elderly women can also be delicate, beautiful, and elegant.

The smartphone is also no longer an obstacle for people like Zhang. “I buy most of my clothes online, and I like to watch live stream shopping. As a volunteer during the epidemic, I taught other elderly people to use the health code,” Zhang added.

Jointly build education resources for the elderly

Data from Chongqing Municipal Health Commission show that by the end of 2021, there were 6.96 million older adults over 60 in Chongqing, accounting for 21.67% of the permanent population, ranking fifth in China in aging. The number of elderly increased by 200,000 annually, an average annual increase of 4%.

Recently, the Chongqing government released a document relating elderly. It mentioned that the city would improve public cultural service facilities and set up suitable places for education, culture, and fitness for the elderly. Supporting the community provide cultural activities and services for the elderly, Developing sports associations for the elderly, and encouraging them to participate in sports events.

Meanwhile, the city will fully play the regional cultural characteristics of traditional folk festivals, heritage sites, and other resources to create some elderly favorite tourism brands.

Chongqing has more than 1,400 education institutions and 58 universities for the elderly, covering all districts and counties, while demand still outstrips supply.

Next, the city will encourage multiple subjects to jointly build and share education resources for the elderly, encourage vocational colleges to provide education for the elderly and explore flexible employment for the elderly.

Huge opportunity for the elderly industry

“Compared with the post-40s and post-50s, the post-60s generation grew up in China’s reform and opening up period, their pensions are higher, so they have strong consumption power. They understand digital technology, dress in fashion, and are keen on trendy yoga, foreign languages, short (viral) videos, and cycling,” said Liu Guohui, director of Chongqing Population and Development Research Center.

Liu believes that quality, diversification, and facilitation are the consumption needs of this generation and have become an excellent opportunity to upgrade the elderly industry.

Liu suggested that the elderly industry should be subdivided. Innovating aging products, elderly tourism, fashionable sports, the elderly online education, the elderly intelligent entertainment, and other new consumption formats create more possibilities for the post-60s.

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