BEIJING, April 13 (Xinhua) -- China will place 2.2 million more beds in service centers for the elderly in rural areas by 2010, said the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009-2010) released Monday by the Information Office of China's State Council.
The state will continue pushing forward the construction of old-age service facilities, the plan said.
An additional 2.2 million beds will be placed in the service centers for rural households enjoying the "five guarantees" -- guarantee of food, clothing, housing, medical care, and burial [education] expenses for elderly people, handicapped people and residents under the age of 16 living in the countryside who have lost the ability to work, have no sources of income and have no people to support them.
Some 800,000 new beds will be added to nursing homes for bereaved seniors in towns, it said. A batch of nursing homes will be established in big and medium-sized cities. Nursing homes, recreation centers and comprehensive welfare centers for senior citizens will be constructed in rural areas, with the target coverage of 75 percent in the villages and towns.
According to the action plan, China will establish an integrated service system for the elderly, with home-based care as the basis, community care as support, and nursing homes as supplement.
The government supports and encourages social engagement in old-age services through various means, including private running of public facilities, government-supported private facilities and government purchasing services for the elderly. Communities will play an important role in senior citizens' care, tending their physical, psychological and medical needs, it said.