Jinyun introduces innovative elderly care model

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated : Jun 19, 2024 L M S


A youth plays chess with an elderly resident at a nursing home in Jinyun county, Lishui, Zhejiang province. [Photo/Tide News]

Jinyun county in Lishui, Zhejiang province has launched a pioneering elderly care initiative that integrates youth housing with volunteer services.

This program offers dormitory accommodations to individuals aged 18 to 45 who, in return for reduced rent, participate in volunteer activities at the nursing home. 

Under the "intergenerational co-living" model, young residents pay a monthly rent of 1,000 yuan ($137.79). Completing 10 hours of volunteer service per month earns a 200-yuan rent reduction, 20 hours result in a 500-yuan reduction, and 30 hours allows residents to waive the rent entirely, according to Hu Yangfang, director of a local nursing home.

Volunteer activities include chatting with the elderly, taking walks, reading, playing chess or cards, exercising, cleaning rooms, teaching seniors to use smartphones, learning musical instruments, assisting social workers with daily activities, and organizing team activities and cultural events.

Lan Yiting, a young woman from Lishui's Jingning county, is one of the first participants. She helps the elderly by fetching water, measuring blood pressure, and accompanying them in exercise. This reduces her monthly rent burden and has improved her diet and daily routine.

"Having young people around every day, just like my own grandchildren, I get to hear about new things and have even learned how to use a smartphone," said Ma Suzhen, a resident of the nursing home.

"Combining youth housing with elderly care services promotes intergenerational resource exchange and creates a more diverse and flexible elderly care system," noted Hu Xiongjun, director of the Jinyun civil affairs bureau.

Hu added that young people moving into nursing homes not only alleviate the pressures of rent but also encourage more thoughtful, compassionate, and responsible young individuals to focus on elderly care in mountainous areas.

As of now, the initiative has attracted over 50 inquiries and registrations, with eight people already moved in and 12 more scheduled to move in. The cumulative service hours amount to around 400, and the total rent reduction is approximately 12,000 yuan.