Depleted by dependence or imprisoned by independence? Cases of China’s aging in place

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Abstract

Aging in place (AIP) aims to relieve public resource depletion by enabling older adults to live independently at home without dependence on nursing facilities. However, it leads to frustration due to inadequate homecare. Despite the response of aged care providers by increasing community services and manpower, it goes against the original intention of AIP policies. The debate over AIP on how to avoid the dilemma between ‘depleted by dependence’ and ‘imprisoned by independence’ is still wide open. The following paper attempts to use a synthetic literature review to establish a theoretical understanding of what AIP categories might help in this dilemma. Four cases of China’s AIP are then tested. It is concluded that China has different logics behind its AIP in terms of different combinations of hedonic wellbeing, eudaimonic wellbeing, passive avoidance of dependent facility and active participation in life, leading to prescriptions markedly distinctive from the literature to get the most out of aging at home and in community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-672
Number of pages16
JournalEducational Gerontology
Volume49
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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