China is one of the most rapidly ageing countries in the world. As of 2017, about 17% of China’s population was aged 60 or above. While increasing longevity is to be celebrated as an achievement, governments and societies are less prepared for the challenges associated with ageing.
In rural areas of China, where healthcare infrastructure is limited, people are ageing faster, and many elderly communities are at risk. Steady rural-urban migration by the younger Chinese population has rendered traditional care arrangements, such as children caring for their parents, unviable. The older Chinese population face financial challenges as they stretch their lifelong savings to meet expenses in the face of no or limited income, cope with healthcare expenses and keep up with China’s digital revolution.