Elderly care a massive opportunity in China

Beijing Sunshine Care House opened in January 2008, will triple the number of beds to 700 (and probably fill them all ) this year.

The retirement home is seeking to attract the city’s elderly with a tropical conservatory, billiard room and calligraphy studio according to this article in The Seniors World Chronicle. This year alone, Beijing will see 15,100 new beds in nursing homes a 47% increase over last year.Mahjong
Some might argue that China’s Confucian tradition which places strong emphasis on the obligation to care for parents will hamper the growth of retirement homes in China and Asia genreally. Currently, many older people live with sons or daughters and take the responsibility for raising grandchildren.

In China, less than 5 percent of the urban elderly and 2 percent of the rural elderly live in institutional facilities, according to Zeng Yi, a demographer at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and Peking University in Beijing. While such centers have mostly been a last resort of the childless or handicapped, that is changing.

Quality nursing homes will provide a sense of community for ageing folks where they can also learn.

Already, in developed Asian societies (e.g. Singapore) some older people actually prefer to keep their independence preferring to reserve interaction with their children and grandkids as special occasions.

This 2009 research from MCYS (Singapore Government Ministry) illustrates the preferences of baby boomers: