In China, old-age dependency ratio will increase from the current 2.8:1 to 1.3:1 in 2050. Since 2015, the population of 60 and older is estimated to increase 6.4 million each year on average, reaching 255 million in 2020. This will account for 17.8% of the whole population. By the mid 21st century, the senior population in China will reach 480 million, a sign that China as a nation is entering the advanced ageing stage. In the process, the number of the elderly remains to be No. 1 in the world.

On the other hand, the aged care industry still needs to be revitalised. Senile finance, supplies, services and real estate are all in infancy, with huge potential to grow.

Due to lack of high quality aged care products in China such as nursing beds, water faucets, floor boards, and wallpapers, aged care institutions are looking for imported products as a superior alternative. According to the president of a senior apartment investment company in Beijing, they aim for the senior citizens under their care to lead a comfortable, safe and dignified life. As such, nursing products should have premium quality, which are safe, durable with visually attractive designs. Disappointingly, nursing beds that are made in China generally have a low cost-performance ratio, as well as a less attractive design. They don’t provide a home-feel as they are.

Also, take the example of a shower head. Many China-manufactured shower heads are made of aluminium alloy, which irritates the skin when cold. Besides, the switch is not on the shower head, so it is very hard for the carers to help shower the senior residents single-handed. They are not environmentally friendly, either.

This in turn, leaves massive room for aged care businesses overseas which may provide much-needed premium quality on design, performance and durability. The elderly value high quality and comfort in an aged care product, so that they could embrace elegance till the last breath.

Readers, what do you think about the aged care business opportunities in China from a Western point of view?

*Compiled and edited from various Chinese sources.