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Chongqing Elderly Lead a Happy Life through Better Elderly Care Services

By DENG, YANICHONGQING|Nov 15,2022

“I remember that we were experiencing the characteristic courses of the University, and acrylic painting was one of them, which was quite entertaining.”

“It is fulfilling, funny, and meaningful!” Hu Xianzhou, 67 retired, used three words to describe his retirement life. During the nearly seven years of retirement, he not only participates in study and training to enrich his spiritual life but also experiences the characteristic courses offered by the university to keep pace with the times. His later years were fulfilling and joyful.

Many elderly people in the university are considered “stylish.” As an old part of the city, Yuzhong’s population of over 60 accounts for nearly 20% of the permanent residents of the whole district. However, the “good education” brings the elderly residents back to “youth” and makes the city younger.

“Providing good education and creating a better life has been our education vision in recent years.” The person in charge of the university said that education for the elderly should improve the lives of elderly residents. In recent years, the university has renovated its three campuses and continuously innovated curriculum construction. It has developed creative courses such as acrylic painting, cloisonné enamel painting, paper flower, plant dyeing, pyrography, glass painting, and DIY of old objects. 12 series of 64 courses allow the elderly to seek knowledge, make friends, gain happiness, and progress through a good education.

The elderly are playing chess. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Such education can be obtained online or close to home. Through the university’s online university for the elderly and cloud classes, the elderly can enjoy learning services without leaving home. The branch campuses in 11 sub-districts or the community teaching station of the university in the community and elderly care service center allow the elderly to learn Chinese painting, piano, vocal music, English, and other professional courses “at the doorstep,” experience calligraphy, tea art, cellphone image-text creation, and other featured training sessions.

Complete facilities enable the community elderly to live a happy life

Jiefangbei Subdistrict Elderly Care Service Center, located in Yuzhong District, where property prices are high, covers an area of 4,097.33 square meters. It faces the tranquil Hongyadong scenic area and is backed by the bustling Jiefangbei business circle. As the first China-Singapore cooperative elderly care service project completed and put into use in Chongqing, the center has set up eight functional areas for daily care, care for people with disabilities, health management, culture and education, leisure and entertainment, humanistic care, services and reception, and operation management. The elderly can enjoy more than 100 basic services, such as assistance with medical treatment, meals, and cleaning.

The elderly played ping-pong ball. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

According to Ma Jia, Director of Yuzhong District Civil Affairs Bureau, the district invests an average of more than 13 million yuan per year in supporting the construction and operation of elderly care facilities in communities. Through such efforts as the renovation of residential neighborhoods and the integration and utilization of idle state-owned assets, the district has erected 11 elderly care service centers at the subdistrict level and 68 elderly care service stations in communities by adopting such modes as public ownership, the public-private partnerships, and the private ownership supported by public funding. With an elderly care service center in each subdistrict and an elderly care service station in each community, almost all senior residents can access related facilities or services after a walk of 10 minutes or less.

Yuzhong District will continue to focus on the pressing concerns of the elderly, enrich the service supply, make the brand of “Elderly Care Services in Yuzhong, Make People Feel at Home” stronger, and improve the quality of elderly care services.

“The subdistrict elderly care service center often provides us with voluntary services. We can dine at the community canteen when we don’t want to cook. We can also sign up for a training class at the Mountain City University teaching site for the Elderly to enrich our lives. We feel happy,” said Hou Ronghua, an aged resident. This is also the voice of other senior residents in Chongqing.

The quality of elderly care services has been improved

In recent years, Chongqing has earnestly implemented the national strategy in response to population aging and continuously advanced the construction of a system that integrates homes, communities, and healthcare facilities.

The elderly play Taichi. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

To realize the full coverage of the community-based service for elderly home care, Chongqing has issued the Implementation Plan for Full Coverage of the Community-based Service for Elderly Home-care. Besides, the city has built and operated 220 elderly care service centers at the subdistrict level and 2,912 elderly care service stations in communities, encouraged institutions to construct service centers and stations locally for families, erected 162 complexes integrating service centers with service stations, and merged 1,513 service stations, basically forming an interconnected operation mode that features one network coverage and integrated services for subdistricts and communities.

Moreover, Chongqing issued the Implementation Plan for Making Elderly Care Services Accessible in All Rural Areas. The city has upgraded and renovated 529 township-level retirement homes, built 669 township-level elderly care service centers, and renovated 7,332 village-level elderly care service sites characterized by mutual assistance, forming a three-level rural elderly care service base featuring full coverage and complete functional facilities.

The data show that through the continuous improvement of the business environment of elderly care services and the special campaigns to build all-inclusive nursing homes, the number of elderly care institutions in Chongqing has reached 1,633, with 230,000 beds. Among them, 713 are private institutions, and nursing beds account for more than 59%. The city has also continuously promoted the reform of the public elderly care institutions, of which 316 feature public-private partnerships.

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