Aging China needs professional elderly care

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-03 15:35:21|Editor: Lu Hui
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BEIJING, June 3 (Xinhua) -- The shortage of nursing staff has been a bottleneck for China's elderly care services and the aging society calls for more professional employees, said China Youth Daily Monday.

With nearly 41 million disabled or semi-disabled senior citizens, the country should have at least 13 million elderly nursing staff according to international standards. However, there were less than half a million elderly care professionals in 2017, with only 20,000 of them certified, said the newspaper citing a report from Beijing Normal University (BNU).

The lack of colleges which offer elderly care as a major, along with inadequate social acceptance and low salary around 4,000 to 5,000 yuan (579 to 724 U.S. dollars) fail to cultivate and attract more people going into this field, said the newspaper.

Over two-thirds of college students studying elderly care come from rural families and more than 70 percent of the students expect monthly incomes between 3,001 to 7,000 yuan, according to an employment report released by the China Philanthropy Research Institute at BNU.

The report found positive changes in elderly care, said Cheng Feifei, director of the institute, adding that at least half of the surveyed families were neutral or supportive of elderly care services.

The institute called for more subsidies for elderly care students as well as more cooperation between schools and employers to facilitate the employment of students.

At the end of 2018, China had a population of 249 million aged 60 or above, and the number is expected to exceed 300 million in 2025, according to the National Health Commission.