In September 1993, Taiwan’s population of 65 years and older reached 7% nationwide, which officially made it a rapidly aging society by UN’s definition. According to the Executive Yuan’s Directorate General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics’ projection from a few years ago, the aging population was expected reach 10% by 2010, 14% by 2020, and 20% by 2031, where 1 out of 5 person in the population would be a senior citizen. In reality, Taiwan’s aging rate is far more rapid than it was projected. By March 2007, the senior citizen population has reached 10.05%, which is 3 years earlier than projected. At this aging rate, it is highly likely that Taiwan’s aging population will reach 14% as early as 2016. Rising from 7% to 14% in merely 23 years could create a world record in the aging rate, surpassing the rapidly aging Japanese society by a year, and ranking first amongst the world in this respect is a highly alarming sign.
As these worrisome numbers constantly appear in the new statistics, we clearly sensed the immense shift in population structure and were aware that senior citizens’ issues could nott afford to wait any longer. It was under these circumstances that Hondao Senior Citizen’s Welfare Foundation was founded in March 31, 1995. To better serve senior citizens who live alone throughout Taiwan, the core members of the Foundation created Republic of China (Taiwan) Hondao Volunteer Association with local volunteer stations island-wide by October 18, 1998.
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