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Senior Hefei residents enjoy subsidized homecare
Updated: 2013-12-27

A caregiver provides a vital service for Yang Jinyou, as she helps him with the household chores and provides company to the 90-year-old resident of Heifei, capital of Anhui province.

Tong Hongxi, 32, is from a private elderly care center and a local government initiative allows Tong and other caregivers to look after elderly people in their homes.

Yang lives with his 86-year-old wife. Their five children are busy with work and find it difficult to look after their parents.

"I come to Yang's home twice a week and do some housework, cooking and help him take a bath. I often work three to four hours each visit. I like chatting with elderly people," Tong said with a smile.

Tong also provides care services for six other elderly families and can earn about 2,000 yuan ($330) each month.

Yang said Tong looks after them very carefully and they regard Tong as a "granddaughter".

Senior residents like Yang can enjoy such services with a monthly 600-yuan home-based care service voucher provided by the local government.

Since October, the Hefei government began to purchase homecare services for elderly people in two categories; those aged 70 and above, living on a minimum subsidy with no children, and those aged 90 and above.

People in these categories are eligible for a monthly 600-yuan subsidy in home-based care service vouchers.

Currently, 7,467 Hefei residents qualify for the subsidies.

The voucher can pay for 30 types of services, including general care, emergency relief, medical care and psychological consultations.

According to the household registration statistics, there are more than 1.15 million people aged 60 and above in Hefei city, accounting for 16.32 percent of the total population.

Fang Ming, the deputy director of the commission of the old said: "The government will nurture more social organizations to participate in the care sector, providing subsidies and tax relief for the private elderly care centers, in order to provide better services for the old."