Seniors Care in Asia

Asia's population is ageing, and ageing fast. According to the UN, Asia is currently home to more than half of the world's population aged 60 and over. This elderly population is expected to triple to more than 1.2 billion by 2050, when 25% of people in Asia will be aged 60 or over.

Care for seniors and elders has traditionally taken place in the home. The concept of filial piety has meant that in most East Asian societies it is the primary responsibility of children to look after their elders at home. However, changing demographics with dual income families and the introduction of women to professional workplaces has caused this concept to be deeply challenged.

Traditionally, 'seniors care' in an Asian context has meant low end nursing homes for elders who have no income or assets, or who receive no family support. Standards at these facilities are low with few amenities or professional care.

New models of seniors and elders care are being introduced to Asia. Quality seniors care that offer a superior lifestyle choice with professional management and resort-style amenities is the obvious next step in the aged care evolution. In Singapore and Malaysia, tentative steps in the development of seniors care facilities and retirement villages have been undertaken by private health care provides as an 'add on' service. The 2012 Singapore Government budget provided a number of initiatives aimed at elder care.

The response has been a recent tidal wave of calls to develop and deliver retirement villages with headlines such as Yes, We Need Retirement Villages; Retirement Villages Are The Answer, Not Nursing Homes and More Services Needed for Elderly Who Are Financially Better Off appearing in the Straits Times newspaper. China has recently seen a number of new projects offering seniors care residences which bundle residential developments with seniors care. These innovations have succeeded where they focus on the provision of care services.

Australia is a recognised international leader in the development of seniors living, retirement living and aged care services. Living Well Communities provides a platform to export this knowledge and management expertise to Asia.