Population aging in China and its impacts on elderly care : a case study of Guangzhou city

Hong Kin KWOK

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

1 Citation (Scopus)


Population aging in China is not only a problem for families, but it also impacts the social security system. At present, social security faces the dilemma of how to meet the new demands of the elderly as well as the affordability of the government to take care of more and more elderly. This article is based on in-depth interviews of elderly citizens, caregivers of the elderly, elderly care workers, officers-in-charge of old age homes, and government officials in social security, to study the dilemma the government is facing, and how it impacts the family and the elderly in terms of elderly care. The change of philosophy in elderly care will be reviewed, and how individual elderly and their families react to the changed situation will also be discussed. The author points out that the current policy in elderly care seems to cover a large range of elderly needs, but it in fact cannot meet the urgent need of medical care of the elderly. The elderly, their families as well as the government also find difficulty in the growing expenditures in long-term medical protection for the elderly. Following social security reforms in China, services for the elderly were changed from being highly selected and targeted to universal and comprehensive. But this change remains a problem of providing not enough protection in medical care for the general public. Whether the elderly or the caregivers of the elderly have enough money to spend for medical fees is a critical factor for the safety of the elderly. Ways to balance the responsibility of the government and the individual, and the adaptability of the elderly will be discussed in detail.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-135
Number of pages17
JournalHallym International Journal of Aging
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


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