Senior citizens’ requirements of services provided by community-based care facilities: a China study

Liqun Xiang (Department of Building and Real Estate, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Ann T.W. Yu (Department of Building and Real Estate, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Yongtao Tan (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia)
Xuezhu Shan (Beijing Municipal Institute of City Planning and Design, Beijing, China)
QiPing Shen (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Publication date: 3 August 2019



This study aims to identify senior citizens’ requirements related to “embedded retirement facilities (ERFs)”, which are small-scale, multi-functional and community-based care facilities for senior citizens in mainland China, and to discuss whether senior citizens’ perceptions are influenced by their backgrounds.


A questionnaire type of research was administrated to gain senior citizens’ rankings of services that should be provided by ERFs. Non-parametric statistical models were applied to analyse the collected data.


Results reveal that health care services for senior citizens are considered the most important. Requirements regarding rehabilitation and entertainment and daily life assistance are ranked second and third, respectively. Culture-related activities are the least important. Differences in the senior citizens’ background also influence their choices.

Research limitations/implications

This research is based on a questionnaire survey completed in northeast China. Opinions from other areas of mainland China will be collected in the future study. Furthermore, the key items identified in this research, which was completed by participants from the built environment discipline, can be further elaborated by combining interdisciplinary feedback.

Practical implications

This study explores services that are supposedly provided by ERFs. Findings will provide useful perceptions from senior citizens and will enable decision makers to prioritise services for senior citizens.

Social implications

Although senior citizens are the end users of ERFs, their needs are easily overlooked. This study calls attention to their needs from ERFs, and the results are likely to serve as references for stakeholders in building improved facilities.


ERFs have been provided in mainland China to cater to senior citizens’ needs since 2014. However, few studies have identified senior citizens’ requirements for provided services. The survey-based results of this work will serve as references for various stakeholders in making enhanced decisions.



The authors wish to express their sincere gratitude to all the participants, who shared their opinions through the questionnaire survey.


Xiang, L., Yu, A.T.W., Tan, Y., Shan, X. and Shen, Q. (2019), "Senior citizens’ requirements of services provided by community-based care facilities: a China study", Facilities, Vol. 38 No. 1/2, pp. 52-71.



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