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City trialing senior-friendly renovations

1 Sep, 2020   /   Shanghai, China


An LED handrail on display at the experience center of elderly-friendly facility renovation

More elderly-friendly facilities such as folding stools, LED handrails and automatic alarm systems will feature at senior citizens’ homes in the city as a trial of senior-friendly facilities is being conducted at six residential communities, Shanghai's civil affairs authorities announced on Tuesday.

Shanghai started the renovation of senior-friendly facilities in 2012 and it was listed among the city government's practical deeds for two years. The target is the upgrading of 1,000 senior households a year covered by the city's subsistence allowance system.

By the end of last year, the city had completed the renovation of 8,000 households with financial difficulties, improving their living conditions and quality of life, the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau said.

"Given consideration to the city's aging population and the huge demand of the renovation, the traditional practice could only cover a small group of people, and lack of standards also hinders development of the project," said Ge Jian, deputy director of the bureau’s senior service department.

Under the trial, scientific and reasonable renovation standards with senior-friendly orientation has been worked out, involving products, technologies and regulations, together with standard renovation procedures, the bureau said.

A convenient information system enabling senior citizens to apply for and conduct the upgrade will be established, enabling them to pick suppliers, check renovation information, policies and subsidy information.


A chair which can be moved up and down to help senior citizens when they use toilets in the Nanjing Rd E. Subdistrict

Flexible packages covering construction and facilities will be provided, and residents will be able to apply for subsidies for the renovation based on their financial situation and health, the bureau said.

The basic packages include handrails, anti-skid products, monitoring and alarm facilities against fire, and disaster prevention devices, while personalized packages will cater to the demand under different living conditions such as intelligent furnishings and health monitoring products and services, said Ge.

Residents with Shanghai hukou, or registered residency, and aged 60 or above are eligible for the renovation, according to the bureau.

The bureau will authorize third parties to make assessments and supervise and manage all processes involved in renovation to ensure service quality, it said.

"Senior-friendly renovation will relieve the inconvenience of seniors resulting from deteriorating health, significantly reduces the risks of accidents at home, and lifts the quality of seniors' lives," he said.


A wardrobe designed for senior citizens who use wheelchairs

At the Nanjing Rd E. Subdistrict in Huangpu District, senior residents account for nearly 41 percent of the total.

"The living conditions of some seniors are poor, crying out for elderly-friendly renovation," said Zhang Xiaojie, deputy director of the Nanjing Rd E. Subdistrict office.

The renovation of 11 households has been finished in the subdistrict, and another 11 are making applications.

There is an experience center of elderly-friendly facility renovation at the subdistrict at a shikumen (stone-gate) building.

There are seven scenes featuring chairs which can be moved up and down to help senior citizens when they use toilets, rehabilitation facilities, wardrobe with smart design for wheelchair users, a handrail illuminated by LED lights to ensure the safety of seniors when they visit toilets at night and press-button alarm systems.

A resident surnamed Huang, whose wife suffers from Parkinson’s disease, has benefited from renovations.

"My wife is vulnerable to falling when walking and I need to accompany her to use the toilet,” he said.

At Huang's home, the layout has been changed with gaps filled and anti-skid materials used, making it possible for Huang's wife to go to the toilet independently and safely.

"Our life quality has been improved a lot thanks to the renovation,”Huang said.

The bureau said trials are being conducted at the Nanjing Rd E. Subdistrict, Huayang Road Subdistrict in Changning District, Lingyun Road Subdistrict in Xuhui District, Kongjiang Road and Jiangpu Road subdistricts in Yangpu District and Jiangchuan Road Subdistrict in Minhang District.


A folding chair for use by senior citizens when they change their shoes

Source: SHINE