Improving the Quality of Life for Seniors with NCDs
To promote “healthy aging” by preventing or delaying premature deaths and disabilities due to NCDs, Project HOPE has initiated a “Senior Care” program.
The population in China is ageing. The percentage of people aged 65 years and older has increased from 5.5% in 1990 to a predicted 13.3% in 2025 and 23%, or 114 million, by 2050 (National Bureau of Statistics China).With economic development, the prevalence and mortality rate of non-communicable diseases (NCD) is likely to become a long-term economic burden. NCDs are China’s number one health threat. They account for over 80 percent of its 10.3 million annual deaths and contribute to 68.6 percent of the total disease burden. The main NCDs in China are cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), diabetes mellitus (DM), chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPDs), and lung cancer. China’s rapid aging population is estimated to increase the NCD economic burden by at least 40 percent by 2030. The expected population increase of older citizens and reduced size of the labor force (people aged 15–64 years) will place severe economic and social pressures as the country strives to meet the needs growing elderly population with chronic ailments that last years or even a life-time (The World Bank “Toward a Healthy and Harmonious Life in China”).
To promote “healthy aging” by preventing or delaying premature deaths and disabilities due to NCDs, Project HOPE has initiated the “Senior Care” program. In a first of many health care educational programs, Project HOPE invited Ms. Jia Yun, Deputy Nursing Director of Endocrinology Department at Renji Hospital to give an educational lecture on diabetes. China has seen a rising incidence of diabetes, which already afflicts roughly 10% of Chinese adults which is almost identical to the U.S. rate of 11%. China has roughly 92.4 million diabetes sufferers, the largest number of any country (China Post “China’s Diabetes Epidemic”).
On June 18th, Ms. Jia Yun spoke to approximately sixty senior citizens from the Tangqiao Community of Pudong District (Shanghai). To illustrate how to identify the risk factors of diabetes, Ms. Jia Yun provided examples from her experiences working with diabetics in her clinic. She stressed the importance of disease prevention and five key points of diabetes self-management which included diet, exercise, medical treatment/counseling, self-monitoring and education. At the end of the lecture, she had a question and answer session. The seniors were very engaged and had asked many questions. The senior residents felt this lecture was easy to understand and had many helpful practical tips. In the future, Project HOPE’s“Senior Care” program will continue to provide NCD health care lectures as well as provide free health care screening (i.e. blood pressure and glucose monitoring) to promote the physical well-being of the seniors of the Tangqiao community in order to prevent or delay NCD related disabilities.