A residential community in Shanghai has launched a trial program to install "intelligent systems" in the homes of elderly people living alone; the systems issue alerts in several situations such as when no one is detected entering/leaving within a 48-hour period. The trial system is seen as an exploration attempt to reduce future pressure on China's aging population.
"We officially started the trial at the beginning of this year," Wu Yongqiang, Party branch secretary of the fifth residential committee of Zhenbei Xincun in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Monday. Many senior citizens live in Zhenbei Xincun, with some over 70 years living alone, according to Wu.
The system contains six factors that are used to consider whether an accident has occurred in the homes of senior citizens. For example, if a senior citizen living alone uses less than 0.01 cubic meters of water within 12 hours, the system will issue an alert so that related social staff can come and check if everything is okay, Wu said, noting that the system is being used to explore ways to take care of senior citizens, especially those who live alone.
Along with recording water usage and access, it also has an emergency button which directly connects with social workers, and supports infrared human body, smoke induction and electric current monitoring. The community is exploring more ways to promote and improve the system, Wu said.
Many netizens on China's twitter-like Sina Weibo applauded the system and suggested it should be promoted nationwide. "High tech should be applied in this way," a netizen wrote.
"It's a good way to solve the problems that seniors are facing," another netizen wrote, noting that the system should be improved gradually to meet the seniors' demands first.
By the end of 2019, China had 254 million people aged 60 or above, accounting for 18.1 percent of the country's total population. The country's senior population is expected to hit 300 million during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.