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Global Leadership and Problem Solving-Eldercare in China

Course Number
IMPA 6090 001
Course Code
Course Key
Course Description
According to World Bank estimates, today's People's Republic China (PRC) is home to about 220 million people age 60 and over, and that number is expected to rise to 400 million by the year 2040. Estimates vary regarding how much larger China's under age 40 population would be today if the one-child policy had not gone into effect when and as it did. But nobody doubts that the policy significantly altered the nation's demography, or that most of today's Chinese young adults face a "4-2-1" family structure. While the norm of filial piety remains strong, almost sacred, the PRC's government leaders and ministers, and average Chinese citizens, have recognized that relying on children as the primary caregivers for elders in Chinese society is highly desirable but simply no longer as feasible as it once was. In the class-wide capstone, students will explore the following topics: Does China's burgeoning elderly population pose a serious problem and constitute a major threat to human well-being? What role have various Chinese institutions--families, community/neighborhood associations, NGOs, businesses, and governance bodies--played in addressing the nation's elder care challenges? What have leading governance bodies defined and proclaimed the problem? How to balance between home-based or community-based "healthy aging in place," on the one side, and nursing homes, assisted living facilities? What solutions afforded by other nations can be adopted in the Chinese context, financially and culturally? **For I-MPA Students only**