Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Jingshan Park, Senior University, & Beijing 5th Senior Compound
Today we had an opportunity to explore several relevant issues for older adults: preventative health, residential housing, and civic engagement. Through presentations and visits to three aging centers, we witnessed firsthand China's attempts to implement practical programs that are the result of the social policies we learned about in previous days.
Particularly interesting was the absolute priority given to physical fitness, not just by older adults, but by the entire population. An early morning (6:30 AM) visit to a park captured the extent to which exercise is a daily habit in the lives of the Chinese. This dedication to physical fitness extends into a commitment to mental fitness for older adults as evidenced through a visit to a Senior University. With more than 26,500 such schools, it seems that China is making strides in this area.
One commonality between the nations was evident during the tour of the residential facility. Shared rooms, public recreation areas, a planned activity calendar, and a lack of transportation for residents all were familiar.
It was clear today that China and the US share many of the same problems and challenges.