Home and community care for older people in urban China: Receipt of services and sources of payment

Bo HU*, Bingqin LI, Jing WANG, Cheng SHI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

29 Citations (SciVal)


This study investigates the characteristics of Chinese older people receiving home and community care and the factors associated with the sources of payment for care services. The data come from the Social Survey of Older People in Urban China, which collected information from a random sample of 3,247 older people aged 60 and over in 10 large cities in different regions of China in 2017. Anderson's behavioural model of care utilisation is used to guide the analyses. The study identifies four striking features of the Chinese social care system. First, although disabilities are a significant predictor of receiving home and community care, a large proportion of care recipients do not have disabilities. Second, perceived proximity of care is the most important predictor, which implies high elasticity of demand for care services with regard to perceived distance and the great geographical inequality of care resources in the cities. Third, the government policies support the use of the internet to facilitate care access, but the enabling effect of the internet among older people is limited. Finally, sources of payment for care differ significantly according to people's age, living arrangements, disability and level of education. We argue that the government should consider shifting the focus of financial support from service providers to care recipients in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-235
Number of pages11
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number1
Early online date1 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • home and community care
  • older people
  • payment of care
  • service use


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