Academic journal article Communications of the IIMA

Information Technologies and Elderly Care in China: A New Paradigm

Academic journal article Communications of the IIMA

Information Technologies and Elderly Care in China: A New Paradigm

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

China's aged population has increased dramatically. Because of the one child policy, China now has fewer and fewer children able to support the elderly. The care of China's elderly is a huge challenge which requires the exploration of all kinds of elderly care models through intelligence and information management technology advances. With the evolving field of Information Management and with the development of newer and cheaper technology, the time has come for a paradigm shift to be explored. A shift in the way China is managing its technology and culture expectations is necessary to address this unique need. This paper carefully explores possible paradigm shifts which include the combination of cultural expectations, integrating technology, government involvement, health care providers and information management.

The paradigm shift uses the work of Davila, Epstein and Shelton (2006) to help develop a Service Innovation paradigm working along with Business and Technology Innovations for the elderly in China.

Keywords: China Elderly care, Paradigm Shift, Technology, Knowledge and Information Management, Government

INTRODUCTION

Knowledge management has been building on theoretical foundations from information economics, strategic management, organizational culture, organizational behavior, organizational structure, artificial intelligence, quality management, information management and organizational performance measurement for the past decade (Baskerville & Dupliovic, 2006). Technology innovations can strengthen the growth and productivity of a country and increase national productivity through the creation of new ideas and opportunities (Wahid, Ismail, Wanarat, & Laohavichien, 2013). The World Health Organization declared in their constitution in 1946 that "Health is a fundamental right of every human being, without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition" (Kennedy, 2009). Caring for the elderly is managed differently in countries throughout the world. In China, health care is both a fundamental human right of elderly humans, but also reflects the social civilization (IBM, 2006). China is unique, especially when compared with Western civilization, because of the traditional components. For the first time in its history, China is experiencing a major social transformation. This transformation precipitated because of the one-child policy almost 30 years ago. As we all know, China is the largest populated country in the world. Its elderly population is rapidly increasing which results in China's population structure undergoing major adjustments. At the end of 2014, China's elderly population (over 60 years) has reached 212 million or 15.5% of the total population. According to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, "Chinese Family Development Report 2015", "empty nest" or people living in their homes after the children leave, account for half of the total elderly population. The aging population in China is facing an accelerated increase. It is predicted that by mid-century, the number of elderly will peak, more than 400 million. That is a ration of three adults for each elderly person. China's care for the elderly is facing increasingly more problems and challenges. At the same time, China's care paradigms are constantly experiencing with new adjustments to meet the needs of the elderly and resolve this concern.

CHINA'S ELDERLY CARE PARADIGM SHIFT

The first thing to understand is the impact and importance of the traditional Chinese family care. In Western civilization, due to the strong individualistic culture, the basic starting point for the elderly people is focused on the individuals and their choice. This care is then supplemented by the unified national care system and/or the differentiated business insurance services. Of course, this is founded on the basis of the developed economic wealth and social service capabilities (Sharp, 2006). …

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