China's Xinjiang to invest heavily in elderly care

URUMQI, March 21 (Xinhua) -- China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will invest 540 million yuan (87 million U.S. dollars) in elderly facilities, including nursing homes, the local civil affairs department said.

Xinjiang civil affairs department said 430 million yuan would go to establishing nursing homes for the physically and mentally disabled.

By the end of this year, the northwestern region is expected to have 24 beds for every 1,000 elderly residents, up from 20 by the end of last year, an official with the department said.

The region has 2.5 million people aged 60 and above, about 11 percent of its population, and this number is rising by about 4 percent annually.

Officials say the region's elderly care program struggles with a lack of beds, a prominent problem in rural regions.

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