Working closely with partners, we promote financial security, healthcare, support and dignity for older people, especially in rural areas of Western China.
Our in the western province of Shaanxi aims to tackle the poverty and health issues often faced by older people, with active support from local authorities.
As part of this work, we strengthen older people's associations in poor villages to reduce isolation and build community networks that encourage mutual support.
These associations share new ideas with Chinese authorities about how older people can be supported by, and contribute to, their communities.
Life story: Pu Caixia, 62
(c) HelpAge International Pu Caixia, 62, lives with her husband. Their children work in away from the village and are rarely around. Their family’s income comes mainly from farming products; the children also send some money from time to time.
Pu Caixia and her husband’s greatest hope is that their health remains good and they can have a happy life. After Pu Caixia attended a self-care session led by the village doctor, she said: “We all care more about our health since we attended the health sessions done by the village doctor. Before, there was not enough interest, but we are changing our minds after some self-care sessions.
“I now really follow what the doctor suggested. The doctor said we should pay more attention to the prevention of diseases and older people should do more physical exercise.”
Pu Caixia often attends the dancing activities organised by the village association. She explains: “Older people usually don’t do much exercise, but after the self-care sessions we often see some older people jogging in the morning.
"Because of the self-care sessions, more people now go to see the doctor and the service attitude of the village doctor is getting better. We feel very good about this.”
Supporting older people in China
- We have continued to disseminate good practice from older people’s associations to relevant authorities to assist them in implementing better health management services at grass-root levels, establishing an age care system, expanding ageing associations and encouraging volunteerism among older people.
- We have provided small loans to 1,300 poor older people in rural villages in Shaanxi through community-based organisations.
- We have worked alongside 40 older people's associations to promote healthy ageing and have established community-based care for over 800 vulnerable and isolated older people in Shaanxi province.
- We have commissioned research on the pension coverage and gaps in pension coverage for older people in China, published as part of HelpAge’s Pension Watch series.
- In partnership with the Shaanxi Provincial Committee on Ageing, we will continue to support the agricultural livelihoods, health awareness and home care for hundreds of older people and their families in poor villages in Linyou County.
- We will support local authorities in Shaanxi to introduce volunteer homecare schemes for older people in rural areas and to strengthen older people’s associations in the province.
- We will pilot urban older people’s associations in areas of Chengdu City, Sichuan province, aimed at reducing social isolation, improving health awareness and providing home help and home care visits to frail and isolated older people.
The China National Committee on Ageing (CNCA), Helping Hand Hong Kong, Instituto de Acção Social de Macau
Shaanxi Provincial Committee on Ageing and the School of Public Health of Sichuan University
AgeUK, European Union, Kadoorie Charitable Foundation, Metlife