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Extra resources for Ageing in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Policies and Future Trends (Routledge Advances in Asia-Pacific Studies, Volume 2)

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Some international convergence of costs appears to be happening, perhaps influenced by what the public sector and insurance will support. A comparison of Hong Kong, Britain and Canada in 1999 indicates that a reasonable quality nursing home room in Hong Kong cost (in US dollars) from $800 to 1,800 per month. In Britain, state support for such a room was about $2,000 per month whilst, in Canada, it was estimated at about $1,900. In Hong Kong, as in the other two countries, the costs of higher-level nursing care and good quality single rooms is thus becoming very expensive and arguably unaffordable for many families.

The interface between home and local services and facilities has not been effectively addressed anywhere in the region except in some newer areas of Japan and to a very much lesser extent in Singapore and Hong Kong (Phillips and Yeh 1999). Improving the internal and external environment for older people, their families and carers, presents a huge challenge. The key is to develop practical, integrated planning of a very interdisciplinary nature, acknowledging the essential nature of public-private sector participation.

Social security systems that evolved under one set of demographic circumstances may require substantial restructuring in order to remain solvent and functional for successive generations. The challenge for nations of East and Southeast Asia is to tackle these issues in the context of extremely rapid demographic change. National levels of ageing show wide variation The extent of population ageing in non-Western countries is most commonly expressed as the percentage of all persons aged 60 or over.

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