By Wang Xinyue, Sun Chao, Yao Xueqing, People’s Daily
Zhao Xiuying, a 61-year-old resident of Nanjing, east China’s Jiangsu Province, picked up the prescription medicine from a community health center early in the morning and bought some vegetables on her way home.
She did not take the medicines and vegetables home, but to He, an 84-year-old woman who lives alone in the same neighborhood. Zhao runs errands for He twice a month.
After saying goodbye to He, Zhao opened a mini time bank program on his cellphone and “registered” this volunteer service to his account.
“My record was over 3,000 hours at most. I swapped some of them for groceries and plan to get massages and health services with the rest,” Zhao told People’s Daily.
Zhao lives in Yaohua Ward, Qixia District in Nanjing, where residents aged 60 and over make up more than 20 percent of the local population. The district was the first to set up a time bank in Nanjing in 2014, to explore a new model of care for the elderly – a reciprocity-based labor exchange system in which “the old serve the old”. .
The time bank encourages people to accumulate their hours of service through voluntary work, in order to exchange them for services or materials for elderly care when they grow old.
Wang Xiaohua is in charge of lobbying at the Yaohua District Time Bank Headquarters. According to her, 7,666 volunteers have opened an account in the time bank. They saved a total of about 420,000 bank service hours and redeemed services more than 690,000 times, Wang said.
Wang announced that the time bank was developed into “version 3.0” in 2019, while its management platform was updated and a mini-program was launched.
Volunteers can open an account, request services, and check their hours of service on the mini program, and the program automatically matches their information to requesters based on time, location, and age and gender. service providers.
The mini program has a simple user interface and adopts a large font size so that it is easy to use for older people. Instruction activities have been held in the neighborhood to help the elderly familiarize themselves with the mini program, while the traditional method of manual accounting is also kept in the bank, said Wei Yingbao, head of the time bank. of the Yaohua district.
In October 2021, relevant Chinese departments jointly released an action plan to further promote the development of smart health and elderly care industry between 2021 and 2025. The plan aims to strengthen support for information, upgrade relevant platforms, promote smart health services and implement other elderly care measures.
According to the plan, next-generation information technology and smart devices will be applied in homes, communities, nursing homes and other elderly care scenarios. Innovation needs to be done in ‘internet plus’ elderly care, time banking and smarter elderly care services.
So far, the successful experience of the time bank model has been promoted to more regions in China, encouraging the society to participate in volunteer services for the elderly and community governance.
The Beijing municipal government released a work report in January this year, which regards the development of the time bank model as a task. He said each hour of service could be redeemed for a “time coin” in the account, which could be used to purchase services or given to close relatives. Volunteers with 10,000 Time Coins will be entitled to live in government-funded nursing facilities.
Besides the time bank, other new models of elderly care are also being explored across China, such as a “care map” that shows the locations of empty nests and disabled elderly people for better voluntary services. , and a home doctor service platform where the elderly can place orders online.
An intelligent elderly care service system is being improved with the help of technology, promoting the high-quality development of the elderly care industry and enhancing the sense of happiness for the group of people. elderly.