China's Aging Population Struggles with Long-Term Care Challenges

China's Aging Population Struggles with Long-Term Care Challenges

Hiroshi Tanaka
2 min read

Long-Term Care Challenges for China's Aging Population Sparking Personal and Societal Struggles

In China, the increasing number of elderly people with disabilities is placing immense pressure on both families and society in terms of long-term care. Despite the government’s implementation of various support policies, these measures have not effectively addressed the issue of supply-demand mismatch. Many families, such as the one of Liu, are forced to bear the heavy responsibility of care. At 65 years old, Liu, who previously underwent surgery for cervical cancer, now devotes her entire day to caring for her mother, who has lost the ability to care for herself. This unpaid full-time caregiving not only poses challenges to personal health and well-being, but also exposes the deficiencies in the societal care system.

Key Takeaways

  • Policies addressing long-term care have not resolved the issue of supply-demand mismatch, leaving elderly individuals with disabilities still facing challenges in their care.
  • Family caregivers are under tremendous pressure, with individuals like Liu having only one hour for personal time each day.
  • At 65 years old, Liu, a former cervical cancer patient, now provides full-time care for her disabled mother.
  • Care for elderly individuals with disabilities is both demanding and unpaid, involving the fulfillment of daily basic survival needs.


With the increasing number of elderly individuals with disabilities in China, the long-term care pressures on both families and society are intensifying. While the government has implemented supportive policies, the issue of supply-demand mismatch persists, resulting in immense pressure on family caregivers like Liu. This unpaid full-time caregiving not only impacts personal health, but also reveals the shortcomings of the societal care system. In the short term, the quality of life for family caregivers is declining, and in the long term, this situation may affect the labor force and economic growth. In the future, there is a need to enhance the construction of public care facilities and improve the quality of care services to alleviate the burden on families and promote social harmony.

Did You Know?

  • Long-Term Care Policies: These policies are designed by the government to meet the long-term care needs of the disabled or semi-disabled elderly population. They typically encompass measures such as financial support, service provision, and facility construction, aiming to relieve the burden on families and enhance the quality of life for the elderly.
  • Supply-Demand Mismatch: In the field of long-term care, this refers to the non-alignment between the actual care services provided and the needs of elderly individuals with disabilities. For instance, services may be inadequate, unsuitable, or unevenly distributed, resulting in some elderly individuals not receiving necessary care while others are potentially receiving excessive services.

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