Buddhist temple provides sanctuary for China's aging population

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NTP: Buddhist Temple offers sanctuary to the elderly in rural China, Ji Xiang temple
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Buddhist temple provides sanctuary for China's aging population
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Elderly blind Chinese resident Chen Guoqing, 67, walks to his room at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 18: Chinese Buddhist nun Neng Qing, 81, who runs the facility and its one of its founders, greets residetn Wu Yuanhe, 85, during a visit to his room at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 18, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 18: An elderly Chinese resident walks in the rain at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 18, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 18: Elderly Chinese residents You Jinsheng, 80, who is paralyzed and Chen Guoqing, 67, who is blind, are seen in their room at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 18, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 18: An elderly Chinese resident waits before a meal at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 18, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 18: An elderly Chinese resident serves herself food during lunch at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 18, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 18: Chinese Buddhist nun Neng Qing, 81, who runs the facility and its one of its founders, opens the curtains of a residents room at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 18, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 18: Chinese Buddhist nun Neng Qing, 81,center, who runs the facility and its one of its founders, holds the hands of elderly residents as she walks them to lunch at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 18, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 18: Elderly Chinese residents chat as they wait before a meal at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 18, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 18: An elderly Chinese resident stands in the rain at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 18, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 18: Elderly Chinese resident Chen Minying, 92, stands outside her room at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 18, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 18: Elderly Chinese resident Chen Minying, 92, stands outside her room at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 18, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 18: Chinese Buddhist nun Neng Qing, 81, who runs the facility and its one of its founders, embraces an elderly Chinese resident as they greet each other at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 18, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 18: An elderly Chinese resident prays in front of her food during lunch at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 18, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 18: Chinese Buddhist nun Neng Qing, 81, who runs the facility and its one of its founders, embraces elderly Chinese resident Luo Yudi, 81, who suffered a stroke as they greet each other at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 18, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Elderly Chinese couple Qiu Farong, 87, left, and wife Wei Chaidi, 86, walk downt he road after prayers and lunch at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Chinese Doctor Li Laifeng, 70, who has volunteered for the last 20 years, checks an elderly Chinese resident in the small clinic at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Elderly Chinese resident You Jinsheng, 80, who is bedriidden and paralyzed lays in his room at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Elderly Chinese resident Zhang Shixin, 66, sits in the room with his disabled sister Zhang Aiyu, 55, at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Elderly Chinese resident Chen Minying, 92, prays before lunch in the dining hall of the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Elderly Chinese residents pray before lunch in the dining hall of the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Elderly Chinese residents serve themselves lunch in the dining hall of the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Elderly Chinese residents gather for lunch in the dining hall of the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Elderly Chinese residents take off robes after a prayer and chanting session at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Elderly Chinese residents gather for lunch in the dining hall of the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Elderly Chinese residents wear robes as they kneel during a prayer and chanting session at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Chinese Buddhist nun Da Yong, 62, bangs a metal gong to alert elderly residents before morning prayers at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Elderly blind Chinese resident Chen Guoqing, 67,left, listens to his radio as as he exercises in the old temple area at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care.àà Chinaâs rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on Chinaâs social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the countryâs decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: An elderly Chinese woman kneels as she prays during a prayer session at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Elderly Chinese resident Le Lianzhu, 85, lights candles as she performs rituals before morning prayers at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Elderly Chinese residents wear robes as they walk during a prayer and chanting session at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: An elderly Chinese resident walks out of his room in the old temple area at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Elderly Chinese villager Hong Meizi, 83, prays before a meal at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: An elderly Chinese resident lights candles before morning prayers at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Elderly Chinese residents serve themselves food during a meal at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 16: The hands of Chinese Buddhist nun Da Yong, 62, are seen during a prayer session with elderly residents of the nursing home at the Ji Xiang Temple on March 16, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 16: A picture of Zhang Guiying, and elderly resident of the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home who passed away last month is seen in a funeral prayer room at the temple on March 16, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 16: Elderly Chinese residents take part in a prayer and chanting session at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 16, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
SHA COUNTY, CHINA - MARCH 17: Chinese buddhist monk Dao Yuan, 51, stands in front of a statue of the Buddha at the Ji Xiang Temple and nursing home on March 17, 2016 in Sha County, Fujian province, China. The Buddhist temple, which houses a nursing home, opened in 2000 as a spiritual promise by a revered elderly monk to provide care and compassion for the aged. Local officials say it is the only temple in China that provides sanctuary at no cost to its elderly residents, who, in some cases have no family to care for them as their children have migrated to major cities for work. Local villagers support the nursing home with donations of food, and it receives some government funding to ensure shelter and limited medical care. China's rapidly aging population poses a demographic challenge for the state, as the number of people over age 60 is expected to reach nearly half a billion within 30 years. The increased pressure on China's social safety net to support the elderly is complicated by a low national birth rate given the country's decades-long one-child policy. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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Our elderly family members need certain amounts of special care regardless of where you are in the world, but China's rapidly-aging population requires an entirely different level of attention.

Given China's low birth rates due to the recently abolished one-child policy, the aging population presents a unique issue. The government expects the number of citizens in the country over age 60 to reach nearly 500 million in the next 30 years.

In 2000, the Ji Xiang Buddhist Temple opened the doors to a first-of-its-kind nursing home within the walls of the temple. The monks at the temple take in the elderly of rural southeast China and provide food, shelter and some medical care. They also provide friendship, as many of these senior citizens no longer have family in the area.

Click through the slideshow above to see a look inside the lives of China's elderly who spend their days within the Ji Xiang Temple's nursing home.

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