The newspapers are full of articles about events going on in China.

Will Beijing be Ready for the Olympics in 2008?’

“New Recall of Chinese Toys in the US”

“Miners Families Angry at Disaster”

A recent BBC News feed featured the first article I’ve seen about the impact of China’s one child policy on the Chinese economy.

“China may be forging ahead as a world power. But it is also beginning to face the long-term logic of its one-child policy – too many old people and not enough young people”.

As the article describes, it is traditional in China that children take care of their elders.   Single children today can look forward to caring for their parents and grandparents.  There are also fewer workers, not only for health care but for factories and industry.  And since they have so few children, they are turning schools into ‘old people’s homes’.  But they don’t have the workers to care for the elderly in those homes. 

China will soon have 400 million elderly people.   And the Chinese government is clearly paying attention to the issue. 

At IAHSA’s conference in Malta we met with representatives from the China Yinfa Corporation and the China Ageing Development Foundation, both newly created entities charged with helping the country address this issue.   And later this year, we will be meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security of China, who are visiting the US to learn more about senior housing programs.  

It’s a start.  And IAHSA’s Global Ageing Network will do what it can to help.