Senior Center

American Senior Care Programs Export to China

By Daniel @ LivingSenior - September 24, 2011

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As a nation, America has constantly been looking for ways to improve the care it provides for its senior residents. Gone are the days of the lonely “old folks home” where elderly residents were simply housed as opposed to genuinely cared for. Today, the majority of America’s senior population benefits from some form of senior care program whether that is through live in an retirement community or assisted living facility or in a modern and fully regulated nursing home. Even in-home care for seniors has improved by leaps and bounds as more specific guidelines for geriatric care are being put into practice. All of this has resulted in America’s senior care industry becoming a model for the rest of the world. Nowhere is that more evident than in China where care for the elderly can certainly stand for some improvement.

For most of China’s history, families took care of their own. When parents or grandparents grew older and needed assistance it was accepted practice to move them in with one of the sons or daughters of the family. However, since China instituted a “one child” rule the burden of taking care of seniors has fallen more to government run agencies. This has resulted in crowded conditions in not so friendly atmospheres. A Seattle based firm called Cascade Healthcare is trying to change all that by exporting the type of high quality for-profit senior care facilities found in American to China.

Following the American Way for Senior Care

Serena Xie is a managing director at Cascade Healthcare which has become the first it's the first American based business to win approval from the Chinese government approval to establish an American style senior care center in China. She is also a first generation Chinese American who knows all too well about the plight of senior citizens in China.

Serena recently told the Seattle Times about her own family’s history with regard to elderly care which is indicative of the rest of the nation. As Serena detailed, her father and mother had a total of nine brothers and sisters who were all standing by to pitch in with the care of their aging parents. Serena’s own mother cared for her grandmother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. By contrast, Serena is an only child with a full time job. Fortunately, she is in a position to provide better care

"We have the financial resources to send them to a nicer place," she told the newspaper. There just needs to be a choice.

A Shanghai Hotel Gets Converted To Senior Care

Plans are now underway to provide those options for Chinese citizens. Beginning next month, a Shanghai Hotel is being converted into a 100 bed senior housing project that will offer the kind of skilled nursing care found in most American facilities. The residents at this new Chinese assisted living facility will also benefit from traditional forms of Chinese medicine as well as massage therapy.

Just like America, China is also facing its own expansion of the senior population. Instead of keeping seniors in the state run hospitals, the Chinese government is actively seeking viable alternatives. This is one export that can actually improve the quality of life for so many seniors.

Discover the other types of senior care options available for seniors at LivingSenior.

And if you have any questions regarding these options or would like to share your own stories in the senior healthcare industry we’d love to hear from you!