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The need for community care among older people in China

  • JUNSHAN ZHOU (a1) and ALAN WALKER (a2)

The social care system of China has come under close scrutiny from policy makers due to the rapid ageing of China's population. Unfortunately, there is very little Chinese research evidence that might be used to plan future service developments. This article is a contribution to filling that gap and it provides essential new information on the expressed demand among older people in China for various community care services. The data are from the 2008 wave of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey. According to the characteristics of the dependent variables, we used Binary Logistic Regression Analysis to analyse the need for community care among older people in China. The results show considerable need for such care, but China is still a developing country and there are insufficient resources to fund a Western-style social care system (even if that was desirable). Thus, it is argued that the development of social care in China should emphasise community-based care, in partnership with families, with institutional care as a last resort. In addition, it is argued that China (and other countries) should introduce measures to prevent the demand for social care.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Alan Walker, Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield – Elmfield, Northumberland Road, Sheffield S10 2TU, UK E-mail:
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