Social services for older persons in Asia and the Pacific : trends and issues

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National policies and programmes on ageing in Asia and the Pacific : an overview and lessons learned, Page: 85-110

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CHAN, Cheung Ming, Alfred; PHILLIPS, David Rosser
United Nations
Gerontology; Social Work
book chapter description
The present chapter uncovers some of the trends and issues in social services for older persons through reviewing the current situation in the region, examining similarities as well as differences, in Japan; Hong Kong, China; Singapore; China; the Republic of Korea; Thailand; Indonesia and Viet Nam. There are trends similar to those in advanced countries as a result of social and demographic changes including population ageing, declines in fertility and mortality rates, and longer life expectancy. These changes, coupled with the effects of urbanization, industrialization and better education, have given rise to popular demands for better quality and greater government intervention in elderly service provisions. However, alongside these trends are issues of service coverage and accessibility of care at an affordable cost, both to the government and to the older persons in the region. At the verge of the evidently weak ability of the developed countries in providing long-term care, governments in the Asian and Pacific region almost unanimously act to sustain the traditional values of family care. Whether this wishful act of the State is capable of counteracting the increasing popular demands in the region for more government provision in social services is indeed another interesting issue.