Chongqing- Ding Zhongping, director of the Chongqing Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau, announced on October 23 that Chongqing has become a forerunner in the elderly care services industry, with its evaluation index of the business environment securing second place nationally.
Currently, Chongqing stands out as one of the provinces and municipalities experiencing rapid aging. The city is home to 7.12 million elderly citizens over 60, accounting for 22.16% of its population. Moreover, individuals aged 65 and above comprise 18.3% of the populace.
Recognizing the urgent need for elderly care, the Chongqing Government has prioritized elderly services. A comprehensive system has been established, which includes an elderly services list, active discovery and assistance for the elderly facing difficulties, and allowances and subsidies to ensure all elderly residents can access basic services.
Foreign investors are given equal incentives for tax exemptions
To further catalyze the elderly care sector, Chongqing has rolled out several incentivizing policies.
For a construction subsidy, elderly institutions with over 50 beds and their property are granted a 10,000 yuan (about 1,367 U.S. dollars) subsidy per bed. Tax benefits include exemptions from value-added tax for elderly care service income, property tax, and urban and township land-use tax for non-profit elderly care facilities.
Plus, preferential utility rates and enterprise income tax exemptions have been set for qualified non-profit elderly care institutions. Foreign investors establishing elderly care institutions are also given equal incentives as domestic investors.
Moreover, the licensing of elderly care institutions has been abolished, transitioning to a record registration system. This shift moves the registration authority to district and county levels, making processes more accessible.
In addition to policy changes, the local government has boosted business services to support elderly care enterprises and has been hosting China (Chongqing) Elderly Industry Expo for 16 consecutive years, providing an international platform for knowledge and best practices exchange.
Efforts to expand elderly care services cover both urban and rural areas. Chongqing boasts 6,189 elderly care facilities with 232,800 beds. These facilities are strategically distributed across the city, ensuring that elderly care is accessible to all. The city also offers 35 community-based elderly care services, including health monitoring, social worker care, and cultural and recreational activities.
Renovation of elderly homes with special challenges
On the architectural front, with the rise in the elderly population, the focus has been on constructing and renovating residences tailored for the elderly.
China’s current efforts concentrate on making residences more accessible and safe for the elderly according to international benchmarks. Measures include adding ramps, installing elevators, and revamping corridors and bathrooms to ensure accessibility, safety, and comfort.
For the elderly facing challenges, including those living alone, empty nesters, and those with disabilities or severe impairments, there’s a pressing need to consider more tailored solutions and measures for their care and comfort.
Chongqing’s commitment to elderly care is further emphasized by its pledge to renovate 39,000 households for the elderly facing challenges during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021–2025) period. Over 20,000 renovations have already been completed.