Toy store for seniors aims to enrich lives of elderly in Beijing
Wang Siwen

A new toy store in Beijing is offering senior citizens gadgets, toys and games especially designed for the elderly in a bid to enrich their lives.

The collection of different types of toys goes back decades. Just like a one-man band, owner Song Delong has to do everything on his own, but he says he wants to help old people find new ways to have fun.

"Most seniors spend their lives after retirement taking care of their grandchildren, watching TV. Young people have Starbucks to take a rest and my shop is a place for seniors to relax and do the activities they enjoy," said Song, adding that some customers call it the "melancholy-dispelling store."

The shop covers an area of about 180 square meters and is packed with more than 400 toys, ranging from classic games to traditional Chinese ones, like ring puzzles, that elderly Beijingers are familiar with.

Song said that playing with the toys has mental and physical benefits for his senior customers.

Mrs. Fang, who is over 80 years old, comes to the shop pretty often. "There are so many toys here that I may not have enough time left in my life to play with all of them. When I play with these toys, I have to use my brain and I will not get dementia," Fang said.

Mr. Cao, who is over 70 years old and lives nearby, said: "Young people work during the day and always say they are tired, we feel like we are forgotten. Actually, seniors have no place to go, so I'm happy to see such a store."

Visitors keep coming, but Song still faces challenges including finding toys tailored for seniors. But he has bigger plans. The market for senior toys is not competitive now, so if he can expand his business he can serve more seniors.

There is no hustle and bustle in this shop, but it has everything some older people need to entertain their inner child.

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