http://tiffanyjohn17.livejournal.com/2599.html As the rapid aging of Asia's population creates challenges for governments and societies, new opportunities are emerging for businesses serving the needs of the elderly and their caretakers. While population aging is a global phenomenon, the Asian-Pacific region is expected to see a particularly drastic demographic change over the next few decades. The number of elderly persons in the regionalready home to more than half of the world's population aged 60 and overis expected to triple to more than 1.2 billion by 2050, when one in four people in the region will be over 60 years old, according to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Across Asia, large corporations and entrepreneurs in various industries are racing to come up with new products and services for the elderly, while health-care- related businesses are seeing soaring demand. Among various fields of health care for the elderly, nursing homes represent one of the fastest-growing sectors. In Japan, companies that previously had little to do with the issue of aging have jumped on the bandwagon. In 2005, Watami Co., which operates Japanese- style izakaya pubs serving food and drinks, entered a new business of running nursing homes. In the most recent fiscal year, the nursing business was more profitable than its izakaya business. Demand for Watami's new business is robust because Japan's population is the world's grayest, according to a 2009 United Nation report, with nearly 30% aged 60 or older. Other parts of Asia, such as China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore, are also anticipating a surge in the percentage of elderly citizens. In China, people over the age of 60 now account for 13.3% of the country's population of 1.34 billion, up from 10.3% in 2000, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, and the aging trend is expected to accelerate. In January, China's state-run Xinhua news agency wrote about challenges facing nursing homes, saying "there are simply not enough nurses or beds to accommodate the country's elderly population."
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