While the UK dithers over social care, China is starting to deliver

The truth is that no one wants to foot the bill for long-term care in an ageing society. A mere handful of nations have grasped the nettle and set about comprehensively redesigning the way they deliver and pay for care. Germany and Japan are two countries that have implemented social insurance schemes. Both can teach the UK lessons. But if we are looking for a country that has recognised the scale of the challenge of an ageing society, it is China.

I have just returned from a week-long visit to China with Innovate UK, to learn how the country is tackling this challenge. China is experiencing rapid ageing as life expectancy rises and, due to the one-child policy, birth rates have fallen. As a result there are more people over the age of 60 than under 15. Within the next three decades, China will have the oldest population on the planet: by 2050, 39% of Chinese people will be over 65.

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