China: Old Age

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An old man uses a computer, he bedroom is next to the bathroom at the Mingshen Nursing Home in Northern Shanghai which opened in 1999. This facility has about 350 beds, and there are already 327 residents. They pay an average of about US$100 per month to stay there. Some residents pay more for extra services or comfort. The old age home is run by Zhang Minsheng who also runs two other similar operations in southern China, Hainan Island and Shenzhen. Growing old is becoming big business in China as the country is facing a crisis with their rapidly aging population. The problem is significantly worse than the aging baby boom generation in Europe and North America. Chinaís One Child Policy has added to this problem as the burden of elderly parents is planted squarely on the shoulders of an only child.