The Hebei Diamond Foundation（河北钻石公益基金会）held a seminar focusing on “empty nesters” and elderly care in rural areas on the 2nd of March. The information centre of the National Committee of Aging（全国老龄办信息中心） and many research institutes and college representatives were presented during the seminar.
A model of mutual improvement for elderly care in rural areas was discussed. This model was first initiated in Feixiang County, Hebei Province, where a village collectively raised money to build a nursing home. The residence was provided freely by the village to its senior citizens, and the money for their food, clothes, and medical care was provided by their children. Nobody was assigned to take care of them, the idea being that the elderly would look after each other on their own.
This model very soon spread to other villages, with people from 21 provinces coming to learn about it. However, problems also soon surfaced. The villages usually do not have enough money and thus rely on their county to build the nursing home, but the counties have no planned financial budget for this and thus have to cut spending in other areas. Moreover, this model cannot include elderly people who are either mentally or physically disabled. The seminar included a discussion of this model of elderly care in rural areas and suggestions for it in its proposal for the “two sessions”, hoping for a better model for elderly care in rural areas.