BioScience Trends. 2022;16(2):107-118. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2022.01068)
Current state of care for the elderly in China in the context of an aging population
Bao JB, Zhou L, Liu GH, Tang J, Lu X, Cheng C, Jin YY, Bai JJ
The aim of the current study was to review the current state and characteristics of the elderly population in China in the context of aging, difficulties and challenges faced by older people, and efforts of the current Chinese Government in this area. The process of population aging in China began to accelerate in the late 1970s and has continued to increase at a rate of about 3.2% per year since then. This process took more than 45 years in developed countries, while it took only about 27 years in China, and aging may continue to increase for a long time. China is now moving toward a superannuated society due to declining fertility rates and increasing life expectancy. There is a great need for care due to the high disease burden among older people. However, more than 1 million "families have lost their only child", and this number is increasing annually by about 76,000; moreover, there are a large number of "deficient families [with an injured family member]" in China. These families face greater difficulties due to aging and need to rely on society for more support given the lack of care provided by their children or spouses. The current study has focused on improving the quality of life of older people, helping them achieve healthy aging, and to assist the country in further providing care for the elderly.