Utilizing Existing Resources to Provide Elderly Care Services for Neighborhoods in Harbin, China


About the Project

About Harbin

Harbin, the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang province, China, is consists of 8 metropolitan districts and 10 counties and has a total population of up to 11 million. Harbin is the most populous city in Northeatern China and serves as an important industrial base of the nation. Also known as the Ice City, Harbin is famous for its winter tourism and recreations, especially its signature ice sculpture festival, the largest in the world. In 2010, the city was appointed a UNESCO “City of Music”.

Elderly Care in Harbin

  • Senior Population
    • 1.7 million over 60 (17.1%, 2% above national average)
    • 42% elders are over 70
    • 49% “Empty Nest Elders”
  • Types of Caring
    • Family (93.7%)
      • 28.3% live with children
      • 46.6% live with spouse
      • 18.8% live alone
    • Care workers (2%)
    • Nursing institutions (4.3%)
  • Caring Facilities
    • 4 public nursing institutions
    • 447 social nursing homes
    • Over 200 medical facilities
  • Center for “Summer Care”
    • Despite the cold winters, Harbin has the idealest summers among major Chinese cities. Besides cool weather and beautiful natural environment, Harbin is also wellknown as a city of traditional Chinese medicine. During recent years, more and more elders in other parts of the nation choose to spend their summers in resorts or caring facilities in Harbin. The rapidly growing elderly care industry is expected to become one of the pillar industries to stimulate economic growth in Harbin.

Project Design

  1. Identify Local Resources
    • What are the key features of Harbin’s elderly care industry?
    • What are the most urgent development needs?
    • What resources are currently not fully utilized?
  2. Find Possible Solutions
    • Advantages and problems of current practices.
    • More potentials of existing idle resources.
    • Successful attempts in similar cases.
  3. Connect and Localize
    • Develop a potential model base on the unique situation in Harbin.
    • Extended discussion on broader application.