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An elderly woman sits in a Shanghai park. The city has 3.9 million registered seniors
LISTEN more to the elderly when making policies on care for them, Shanghai Party Chief Han Zheng urged city officials yesterday.
The focus must be on what the elderly really need, rather than on facts and figures that neglect their requirements, Han said during a group discussion at the annual session of the Shanghai People’s Congress, the city’s legislative body.
The congress session ends today, while the session of the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the city’s political advisory body, ended yesterday.
“It’s not simply collecting some data and building several care homes, but taking seniors’ views into account,” Han told legislators and government officials.
He said some elderly residents have complicated feelings about being sent to senior care homes, seeing it as the final stop in their life.
And seeing fellow care home residents taken for emergency treatment and not returning also has a deep effect on many seniors, added Han.
“I’m wondering whether you can actually feel how the elderly think,” he said to legislators and officials.
But Han added that some requirements of many elderly people are quite simple — such as hoping the government will provide a cooked lunch for them.
Meanwhile, some elderly residents’ children have expressed a hope that the government could offer day care centers for their parents, and they would take them home at night, he added.
Han said he has met many of the city’s centenarians.
“Shanghai has more that 1,000 people over 100 years old and I’ve visited many of them to ask them their hopes,” Han said.
Han said he also asked their families the secret of such longevity.
“The basic rule is to keep a harmonious family and live happily with their children,” he said.
Shanghai has more than 3.9 million seniors among its registered residents and the figure is set to exceed 6 million by 2025, according to the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.
By the end of this year, the number of people aged over 60 in the city is forecast to pass 4.3 million.
The city government will set up medical centers at all local senior care homes by 2017, Shanghai Vice Mayor Shi Guanghui told another meeting at the congress.