China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
Population aging is accelerated greatly in China due to strict population control policy and the rise of life expectancy in the recent decades. How to obtain quality of life in one’s later years and how to provide adequate eldercare to the ever rising large aging population present both new challenges and opportunities for China as the aging trend will only further deepen in the years to come. In recent years, “gerontechology” has increasingly been viewed as bringing great potential and promise to ensure quality of life and eldercare for an aging society. In this panel, we draw on recent researches to demonstrate how technologies are adapted and adopted to cope with new realities of eldercare and aging trends in China and beyond. Hongtu Chen’s paper calls for the need of the “social technology” approach for developing technological solutions for meeting challenges of dementia care. Tianshu Pan’s paper discusses the gap between scientizing, futuristic visions for gerontechnology products and the complex realities of family caregiving, and explores factors for researchers and caregivers to identify and apply gerontechology to empower the elderly in urban China. Fiona Stanaway’s paper studies the impact of transnational migration and how the use of technology by older Chinese migrants in Australia has helped them maintain social bonds across distance as well as reduce feelings of loneliness and depression. Hong Zhang’s paper looks at how social media technology such as WeChat is transforming retirement life and charts a new trend of active aging in urban China.