This paper examines China’s efforts to meet the challenges and opportunities posed by its rapidly growing elderly population. It considers the pros and cons of existing models of elder care and details an emerging care model: community home-based elder care, integrated with smart, digital technologies. When fully developed, this new model of care has the potential to keep China’s older adults more fully engaged in society, while simultaneously reducing national spending. As this paper demonstrates, good care policy can be great economic and fiscal policy.
This paper is organized into seven sections: Part 1 explains the challenges and opportunities posed by contemporary aging and urbanization trends. Part 2 describes China’s traditional models of elder care and introduces the new model: community home-based elder care. Part 3 analyzes the current state of community home-based care in China. Part 4 discusses the potential advantages of integrating smart, digital technology into the community home-based care model. Part 5 introduces the community home-based care information service platform and highlights the benefits stakeholders can gain from it. Part 6 details specific technologies incorporated into the platform. Part 7 diagrams the steps required to develop the new care model to its full potential. Part 8 summarizes the reasons that community home-based elder care, enhanced with smart technology, is the care model best suited to meet the challenges posed by worldwide population aging.