Long-term care in China: issues and prospects

J Gerontol Soc Work. 2012;55(7):570-86. doi: 10.1080/01634372.2011.650319.


One of the major socioeconomic challenges China faces is the rapid aging of its population. China is now an aging society, even though it is still regarded as a middle-income economy. Coupled with the market-driven reform of social services and rapid erosion of family support, the provision of affordable and accessible social care services to older people has already become an urgent issue for the government to address. Looking into the future, the formulation of a sustainable position on long-term care (LTC) will increasingly become the major focus of social policy. This article sets out the background to the demographic shifts resulting in the emerging need for LTC in China. It analyzes the issues facing LTC services and reviews their prospects, including the structure, operation, financing, and interfacing of residential and community-based home care services.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging*
  • China
  • Demography
  • Health Policy
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Health Services for the Aged / organization & administration*
  • Home Care Services
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care*
  • Residential Facilities / organization & administration*
  • Social Class
  • Social Welfare
  • Social Work*
  • Socioeconomic Factors