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Speech of Wu Yushao at the Main Forum of CISSE2018-The Development Direction of Senior Care Service Industry under the Background of Positive Aging

Date:2018-06-08 09:10:00


The aging of population is a major problem confronting all mankind. To cope with this problem, the United Nations has established guidelines like healthy aging, positive aging and the senior people principle, among which, the most important is the concept of positive aging.

Positive aging is a new concept, new attitude, as well as a new action. To foster such concept, it needs more positive attitude, policies and actions to meet the challenges of the aging population, and the whole development course of senior care service industry in the new age must put the concept of positive aging into practice.

I. Make full use of the market and society

The development of senior care service industry in the new age shall realize the goals of richer content, more guaranteed and more sustainable which are put forward on the 19thNCCPC. One the one hand, the government shall play a larger role in establishing the system, ensuring basic supply, especially for the most vulnerable groups, intensify the reform in delegating powers, enhancing supervision and optimizing services, strengthen support and supervision and create fairer and more sustainable policy and social environment. On the other hand, senior care service industry must follow its own development law as an industry in which the market shall play a decisive role in resources allocation and let the social force play a bigger role. We must realize that development is still the first and top “priority” of senior care service industry, and thus we must increase supply, adjust structure, boost productivity and improve quality while relying on the force of the market and society. We can only adjust structure by increasing supply, increase productivity by expanding social participation and improve quality by allowing appropriate and benign competition.

II. Let family care play a more basic role

Our state proposes a senior care service mode of “make home care as a basis, rely on community, supplemented by institutions and combine medical and care”. This mode is one that puts positive aging concept while referring to international experience and is suitable for our national conditions. It is the most economic and suitable senior care mode. Making home care as a basis does not exclude family care. Instead, the new concept of “home care” includes family care. Actually, home care shall be traditional senior care + modern senior care services. We must reiterate that family care will not be out of date. Family love, spiritual consolation and family affection are something that cannot be replaced by other senior care methods. Of course, we also need to admit the development trend that family is becoming smaller and smaller, with weaker family functions. Therefore, making and implementing family care support policies, such as encouraging children to live near their parents and offering favorable house purchase policies, implementing care leave, breather system and family members nursing skill training, are positive and effective senior care service policies.

III. Pay more attention to the transformation and upgrading of senior care service demands

According to the concept of positive aging and life course theory, senility is a part of life course. Aging and hypofunction is a slow and gradual process. “Today and tomorrow have no difference to an old man”. Senior care is a lifestyle in senility which shares general characteristics with other life periods but also has its minor features. Therefore, we cannot separate the seniors with the society by giving too much special care to the seniors. After all, not all seniors need care and nursing services. Only those high-aged and disabled seniors need care. As the senior care service industry development enters a new age and the society’s principal contradiction has changed, senior care will transform from surviving type to enjoy, development and participation type. This gives great opportunities but also challenges to the development of the industry. The social security system is improving and people’s living standard is increasing, so the senior care service industry shall advance with the times and transform to an enjoy, development and participation type. High-level and personalized services like senior cultural education, senior social participation and senior potential development will be new directions of the industry.

IV. Pay more attention to the prevention and recovery by combining medical and care

From the vision of positive aging concept, the focus of the combination of medical and care shall turn from the care of seniors with disabilities and dementia to positive prevention before disabilities and dementia and positive recovery after disabilities and dementia. The key of the combination is not institutions. The key is neither hospital + nursing home nor nursing home + hospital, but community and family. “Medical” does not mean “medical treatment”, but health service for the whole life cycle and process. Moreover, the emphasis shall be put on front-end health management, chronic disease prevention and back-end recovery care and end-of-life care. We shall move the focus forward and pay more attention to prevention in terms of policies and practices, which is the core of positive aging concept. For example, comprehensive evaluation and intervention can prevent or postpone seniors from falling to the semi-disabled condition from weakness. It can prevent fall effectively and disease aggravation of the semi-disabled. Early screening can spot patients with early cognitive disorder and high risk to make targeted intervention. This is an effective method to prevent cognitive disorder.

V. Give seniors’ subjective initiative into full play

President Xi Jinping pointed out that we shall have a positive attitude towards senior society, the seniors and senior life. Senility is an important stage of life. One in his senility can be capable of outstanding achievements, progress and happiness. A core view of positive aging is, seniors are not the burden of the society, and they are valuable treasures and positive force of the society. Although our country now is in a period of rapid aging of population, but the overall senior population structure is in an early period. Senior can make a difference. By the end of 2017, there are 241 million seniors over 60years old, accounting for 17.3%, among which, there are 82.53 million seniors between 60 and 65, accounting for 34%, and seniors of 60-69 account for 56.1%, seniors of 70-79, 32.9% and seniors over 80, 26 million, account for only 11%. We shall treat the seniors positively and pay more attention to letting them do something. We shall create conditions for them to play a role, guide them to have a healthy attitude and entrepreneurial spirit to make new contributions.

VI. Pay more attention to the construction of friendly environment for seniors

From the vision of positive aging concept, as for development of senior care service industry, more attention shall be paid to the construction of friendly environment for seniors. The first thing is co-construction and sharing of resources and facilities. Developing senior care service industry involves not only facilities and system reconstruction, but also adaptation to the transformation of resources and facilities in an aging society. Enterprises and public institutions, communities, property management companies and commercials can also be transformed to develop senior care services, forming “senior care community” in the new age. The second is to make senior-oriented reform, creating a safe, convenient, comfortable and supportive environment, protecting to the largest extentthe seniors’ ability to live independently and integrate into society. This will become a new field in the development of senior care, but also a new operation and energy of senior care services with large potential and market. The third is to build a friendly environment that respects and loves the seniors. The aging of population is a new basic condition of our country, and its characteristics include aging before getting rich or making preparation. The whole society has limited recognition of the aging population, for example, the NIMBY syndrome stems from lack of understanding. Therefore, we must make population aging education to the whole society and encourage the society to respect and love the seniors.