In a report by the Beijing evening news, over 10,000 people are currently waiting for the 1,100 beds available in the city's top social welfare home. The shortage is so great, says one staff member, that people must now wait a lifetime to get in. Older people in China have traditionally been looked after by younger family members - however as the baby boomers of the early communist rule get older, it is expected that by 2015 there will be 220 million people over the age of 60. Greater numbers of older people will most likely live away from their families, not only because of the subsequent introduction of the one child policy and drop in the birth rate, but because of the relaxation in attitudes towards caring for older relatives. The Chinese capital is in the process of expanding its facilities.
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