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Shanghai, China, October 1, 2014
Project HOPE conducts music exercise classes in Shanghai Tang Qiao community

In recognition of International Day of OlderPersons, which was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1990, Project HOPE is highlighting its two-year Senior Care program in Shanghai’s Tang Qiao community.

Recent surveys from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study found about 25% of China’s 185 million elder population (those over 60 years old) is currently living in poverty with little to no access to health care and other social services.  And the number of people over the age of 60 is expected to number 30 million by 2030.There is already a shortage of care for the elderly in major cities in China.

In an effort to help, Project HOPE launched the Senior Care program in Shanghai’s Tang Qiao community in early 2013.The goal of the two-year pilot program is to provide cost-effective and efficient health care services in keeping with the “healthy aging” concept.

As part of this senior care initiative, Project HOPE’s Shanghai team has been conducting music exercise classes for 30-40 minutes three times per week for people over the age of 60.Project HOPE is also training health care providers how to instruct these music exercise classes.

Project HOPE conducts music exercise classes in Shanghai's Tang Qiao community

One of the nurses leading the exercise classes had this to say about the program.

“I am lucky to have taken part in the training Project HOPE provided for teaching music-based exercise to the elderly. The three-day course taught me how to improve physical activity and psychological well-being in elderly and disabled people.I am thankful for having had the opportunity to learn these new skills so that I can help the elderly in Nanjing where I live.”

Ms. Yao, 78, has been participating in the music-based exercise class three times per week for the past six months. She has joint disease in her right knee, a serious obstacle for remaining physically active. Ms. Yao previously could not walk without a cane or walker.Since starting the music-based exercise class, her right knee has become more flexible.She can now bend her right knee and walk independently.Ms. Yao is very thankful to Project HOPE for providing these classes through the Senior Care program.

 

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