An Unknown Future

Post A – Secondary Research

Shipra Sharma, 98136346

An aging era has come into China, the average life expectancy at birth has increased from an approximate of 41 years in 1950 to 73 years in 2005, and will continue to increase. Fertility is constantly declining from more than six children per women in the 1950’s to an average of 1.6 – 1.8 children per women today, which is about 10% – 20% lower than that in the US, in short the Chinese population is aging at rapid rate and on a large-scale. Today I will talk about issues and opportunities I see as a designer from this aging era in China, and discuss one issue and opportunity in detail.

I found some videos that were a fine sample of how China’s media recognises these issues and opportunities

Issue #1 Substantial members of elderly people may not be able to co-reside with children, even if they wish to do so, because of shortage of children for care.

Issue #2 Lack of intimate and personal relationships between the elderly and their children, who can’t live with them due to work needs and oversees job opportunities.

Issue #3 The co-occurrence of many diseases, which has become the norm with increasing age, accompanied by complex needs, funds, and dependency. I’m going to talk a bit more about this topic as it seems like the major issue pointed out by many articles. The health and care systems plans and prioritizes the prevention of serious and chronic diseases with the use of health screenings, and campaigns, improving the provision of care in the Chinese community , improving on financial security, and advocating family obligation in caring for their elders. These initiatives have been implemented through various government departments and committees.

Opportunity #1 Commercialisation of medical needs and caretakers, which increase employment in factories (that produce medicine and assistive objects) and caretakers for the elderly to assist them in their everyday lives.

Opportunity #2 Sessions for Hobbies and Interests (Personal or Religious) held by local communities, to teach the elderly, and keep them busy. Such activities preserve culture and create an opportunity for elders to socialize with other people, which benefits the community and their mental well-being.


Opportunity #3 Change in technology and usability by elders, which enables business to diversity based on their customer demographic, which now includes a large population of Chinese elderly.


I’m going to talk a bit more about this topic as it personally intrigues me, and in particular I would be talking about mobile phones. As a country with a rapidly growing old population, an elderly  individual finds product design difficult due to its complications and evolving technologies, and mobile technology in particular. Cell phone manufacturers presently focus on businessmen and fashionable people, only smaller companies seem to pay attention to people with disabilities and the elderly, a fine example being DORO. This has created an opportunity for a new business and employment.

Liang, J., Jow-Ching Tu, E. & Chen, X. 1986, Sco. Sci. Med., Population Aging in the People’s Republic of China, Vol. 23 No. 12, pp. 1353 – 1362, viewed on 8 November 2016, <;jsessionid=06E03ED3FF7A2C6BAA739420A53D030F?sequence=1&gt;.

Youtube 2014, A Chinese Advert That Will Bring Tears To Your Eyes, YouTube, viewed 8 November 2016, <;.

Youtube 2010, #PETRONASCNY 2006: My Son, YouTube, viewed 8 November 2016, <;.

Youtube 2014, Medicine with the Senior Citizen’s, China TV Commercial Ad, YouTube, viewed 8 November 2016, <;.

Youtube 2014, Proof That Chinese Grandparents Are More Athletic Than You, YouTube, viewed 8 November 2016, <;.

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