Tuyet Thai nursing centre is a private centre for old people. It is not only where the elderly are taken care of but also a gathering place for them to meet and share their autumnal days.

“We get very good care here, from medicine to eating and sleeping,” said Bui The Nang, a Hanoian elderly who is nursed at the centre. “The workers are friendly with us,” he added.

However, not many families can afford to pay 440 USD per month for this service. Statistics show that there are about 400 State-owned centres for social protection which provide care to 40,000 elderly people. The number is far below demand. Meanwhile, the private sector has shown little interest in the field.

Nguyen Thi Bach Tuyet, director of the centre, said the centre is facing many difficulties investment, not just financial issues but also in policies, expressing her hope that the government will provide support in land leasing. 

High land leasing fees and human resources are the main problems hindering the development of private nursing centres for the old.

Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Association of the Elderly Dam Huu Dac said: “The state budget preparations for the aging population period are too rushed so there are many problems taking care of older people, from healthcare to infrastructure and financial issues.”

Vietnam is among the world’s most rapidly aging countries and it will take the country only 15-20 years to turn from a country with golden population to an old one.

The country is facing the question of how to care for its ageing citizens, in both physical and spiritual aspects.

Thus, more favourable conditions to encourage the private sector to invest in elderly nursing services is a must.-VNA