Tony Walker, Sales Operations & Business Development Director at Tunstall writes about his upcoming trade visit to China to help develop care for elderly people.   

I am currently sat on a train on my way to represent Tunstall in China on a trade mission with other organisations such as the NHS, architects, social care providers and property developers to showcase how we can help China with developing care for the elderly.

It’s a big deal – we will be doing two exhibitions in two areas of China, both lasting three days and between us we will be trying to push the brand ‘Healthcare UK’. It’s a truly exciting opportunity for Tunstall to be a part of something innovative and new in China, helping to solve the Elderly Care Challenge. We hope to engage with existing and new UK suppliers as well as new Chinese customers, producing effective relationships and partnerships.

The current ageing population in China

Elderly care is an increasing priority in China, as people are now living on average 20 years longer than they were 50 years ago and by 2050 there will be 120 million people aged over 80 living in China alone, and 434 million globally.

As part of the mission we will be visiting Shandong province, which is China’s second largest population (circa. 100 million) and the third biggest economy (£600 billion GDP – the economic size of Mexico!). As a result of this, it is home to the largest elderly population in the country, projected to reach 22 million elderly people by 2020. Shandong’s elderly care industry alone is expected to be worth £70 billion by 2020, rising to over £160 billion by 2030!

Currently, only 2% of seniors in China are using institution-based care (sure as care homes), however 11% have stated that they are willing to use them. In fact, around 23% of seniors need some form of care, whether this is at home care or full residential care.

Solutions for elderly care in China

The Chinese Government has asked the UK and other countries to propose solutions to providing care to a larger portion of the elderly population than are currently receiving care. We believe that technology enabled care will be a huge opportunity for providing this care efficiently whilst maintaining people’s independence and home comforts.

‘Healthcare UK’ will propose assistance with designing the new services, commissioning and equipping the facilities, recruiting and training the staff, operating the new services, managing the quality of them in the long term by assessing and managing the programme.

We have the first exhibition this Thursday in Hangzhou, which lasts for three days where we will have a three hour UK knowledge sharing seminar on the design, development (of staff) and delivery for Meeting the Elderly Care Challenge. We will be doing the same workshop at the second exhibition on the 17 November in Shanghai.

It’s going to be a packed couple of weeks, 6 days of expo’s, elderly care dialogues, project owner meetings and site visits – but it’s an exciting time to be representing Tunstall and connected care solutions. Watch this space for my second blog next week from China.