Awaiting Long Term Care Services in a Rapidly Changing Environment: Voices from Older Chinese Adults

Jiayin Liang*, Patrik Marier (2017)
Journal of Population Ageing, 10(4): 385-401


In light of rapid socio-economic transformations combined with a growing ageing population, Chinese authorities have embarked on multiple initiatives to improve their long-term care (LTC) policies. As in Western countries, many of these new strategies involve the deployment of measures to facilitate ageing within one’s community. Relying on interviews of older adults in urban China, this study reveals the tension between policy imperatives and lived experiences by analysing their apprehensions, perceptions and expectations of LTC services. The findings reveal that LTC facilities continue to be perceived as a last resort solution, which accentuates worries concerning the under-development of home- and community-based health and social services. In addition, the interviews denote shifting filial relationships and expectations that have important consequences on the types, quality and quantity of LTC services and of the support older adults expect to receive from their children. In some cases, the narrative has shifted entirely towards sacrificing one’s well-being in order to support younger adults.