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Will nursing homes be a viable option for Vietnam's senior citizens?

By Nguyen Thanh SP   June 17, 2022 | 05:02 pm PT
Will nursing homes be a viable option for Vietnam's senior citizens?
An elderly couple in a nursing home in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Hue
The aging population and rising demand for nursing homes have raised concerns about the infrastructure and workforce required for elderly care in Vietnam.

In Japan, November 11 is celebrated every year as a day for long-term caretakers, who mainly work in nursing homes.

There are around 2.2 million of them, but the number of elderly people who require care is over 36 million.

Such a disparity means there are never enough workers to take care of all seniors.

In 2019 more than 100,000 people had to quit or abandon careers to stay at home and take care of elderly people in the family.

In Osaka alone that year, 2,996 people died at home and were only discovered after several days, according to the police.

In Vietnam the elderly population is expected to grow very quickly, given how more and more young people are opting out of marriage and having children. Many people think they can simply move to a nursing home when they get old. But how many nursing homes does Vietnam have? How much will they cost? Will there be any disease that requires special attention by that time? There are simply too many variables.

Considering current social trends, nursing homes will be in huge demand in just another 15-20 years. Vietnam has been aware of its aging population trend for several years now.

When it comes to funds, not all Vietnamese have enough savings to spend on nursing homes in their twilight years.

Looking at Japan, Germany and China as examples, it is clear that the private sector alone will not be able to support the elderly population, and there need to be health and insurance policies.

To reduce the number of people entering nursing homes, the field of preventive medicine needs to be developed along with infrastructure and workers.

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