Nursing homes and care agencies in Beijing are short of 20,000 workers due to stress and low pay, authorities said Thursday.
More than 11,000 registered workers make up Beijing's elderly care industry, at least 20,000 fewer than are needed, Li Wanjun, head of Beijing's civil affairs bureau, told a session of the 14th Beijing Municipal People's Congress Standing Committee.
Caring for the elderly is a stressful job with low pay. Carers in Beijing only earn 30,000 yuan (around 4,400 U.S. dollars) to 40,000 yuan a year, Li said.
Annual staff turnover is more than 40 percent. In addition, 70 percent of carers are migrant workers with a low level of education.
China has 230 million aged over 60, 16.7 percent of the population. The government expects the elderly to account for about one-quarter of the population by 2030.
Wang Ning, deputy mayor of Beijing, said the city will attract more carers by improving their pay and offering professional training.
Besides staff shortages, there is also a shortage of facilities. Beijing has only 4,000-plus centers providing home-based care for the aged.