Other Free Encyclopedias » Medicine Encyclopedia » Aging Healthy - Part 1 » China - Increase In Proportion And Number Of Elderly, Increase Of Those Aged Eighty And Above, Aging Problems In Rural And Urban Areas

China - Access To Health Services And Long-term Care

aging nursing social elderly percent women survey

Based on the 1992 survey, 66.6 percent of the urban elderly had their medical expenses paid entirely or partially by the government or collective enterprises in 1991. However, this figure was only 9.5 percent for the rural elderly (CRCA, 1994). According to a national survey on healthy longevity of the oldest old conducted by China Research Center on Aging and by Peking University in 1998, around 80 percent of the Chinese oldest old reported that they could get adequate medical care when they were sick. Note that the term "medical care" used in the survey includes traditional Chinese medicine, which is cheap and widely available even in poor and remote areas. As a result, we should not interpret the 1998 survey figures as an indication of good and modern health service facilities in China today.

The census data show that the proportions of elderly men and women who lived in nursing homes in 1990 in the urban areas were 2.1 and 0.8 percent, respectively. The corresponding figures for rural elderly men and women were 0.8 and 0.2 percent, respectively. Given the extremely limited long-term care facilities available and that a large majority of the elderly live with children, especially those in rural areas, perhaps the major cause of institutionalization of elderly persons in China in 1990 was childlessness (or absence of children). Therefore, the percent of the elderly living in nursing homes was extremely low, compared with that in developed countries, where the most common reason for an elderly person to move into an institution is disability. Chinese elderly women's lower social and economic status made them less likely to be able to access long-term care facilities. This is another social disadvantage faced by elderly women in Chinese society, and merits the attention of both society and the government.

China - Retirement Patterns [next] [back] China - Economic Status

User Comments

The following comments are not guaranteed to be that of a trained medical professional. Please consult your physician for advice.

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or