Beijing rolls out new elderly care measures

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A revised set of elderly care measures will come into force in Beijing from Jan 1, 2022. The capital’s civil affairs bureau stated that the new measures will set service standards for elderly care centers.

According to the recently issued Beijing Civil Affairs Development Plan in the 14th Five-Year Plan, Beijing will focus on building elderly care centers in local communities. By 2025, the city aims to have built 280 elderly care centers in towns and villages and at least 1,200 smaller stations where the elderly can access basic services.

A reporter from the Beijing Evening News learnt from the civil affairs bureau that the services offered by each facility will be divided into three parts: a basic elderly care service list, general service list and market service list. The basic services offered include home visits, personal care, and care consultations; services are all purchased by the government and offered free of charge. General services include meals and assistance with personal care, as well as medical treatment, and the elderly who use these services need to cover their own costs. Market services are open to all senior citizens over 60 years old and need to be paid for.

The new measures stress the charitable nature of basic elderly care services. However, the care centers are allowed to offer additional services for profit as well – based on the needs of elderly people living in each district of the city. Apart from facilities for basic services, care centers are equipped with facilities that can satisfy other types of services, such as catering, day care, and entertainment.

The measures have also improved how each care center is subsidized. Money used to be given based on the numbers of people using each facility, but funds are now distributed based on the needs of each facility.