Ageing China

24 Paragons of Filial Piety 5
24 Paragons of Filial Piety 5 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Filial Piety

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China, a country steeped in traditional Confucianism of filial piety, the foundation of all social values, is without exception as with Japan, rapidly facing the changes & challenges of an aging population.

While the physical needs of the aged can be taken care of financially, their social, spiritual & emotional needs are in fact far more critical.

Can we expect the old folks to be left on their own in care or nursing homes? Left to their own accord to congregate among themselves to play Chinese chess, mahjong or tai-chi exercise, as they are fond of & popularly known to indulge?Many old folks complain about being left there alone at care or nursing homes without visits from their loved ones.

Without adequate safety net for the elderly & which is not quite in place, the staggering number & rapid growth of the aged are indeed scary.By 2050 more than a quarter of the population will be over 65 years old and younger generations face an unprecedented burden of care.The present figure stands at 180 millions. The enforced one-child policy & the fact that longevity is prolonged nationally at around 75 because of improvement in health & medical care further aggravate the situation.

The unprecedented growth of such sheer numbers will definitely pose a serious threat to China’s social fabric and economic stability.The planning & tasks ahead are enormous.

China has recently stirred family emotions with a new law making it compulsory for grown adults to visit their elderly parents. It states that adults must take care of their parents’ spiritual needs. The law is short on detail – frequency of visits or potential punishment, but courts could impose fines or jail terms. This is indeed a surprised move.

Another area of concern, both in China and globally, is the proportion of older people living alone. The UN estimates that 40 percent of the world’s elderly are living independently alone or with their spouse, with an big gap depending on where you live – urban or rural.

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So, is China right to make children legally obliged to look after their aged parents? Is the world ready to cope with a rapidly ageing population?


Old parents/grandparents, in their golden years of life, deserve to be well looked after & enjoy whatever leisure & pleasure that the diminishing years ahead of them have to offer.

It’s a shame that in this fast changing world, a lot of traditional practices are phasing out. Nothing pleases the old folks more or can replace the simple pleasure & joy of family reunions during birthday & anniversary celebrations, Spring festivals & others . . . or two, three or four generations simply coming together for meals. Now you see old folks selling off their family home and downsizing to live in apartments or care homes.

Having A Fair Go . . . For The Senior Gold

By P Chong                                                                       Sat. 28 August 2010

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A senior citizen after putting in 40 years of life work is naturally expected to be treated with all due respect, honour, dignity & decency, and to live whatever is left of the rest of his natural life with ease & comfort. Ironically & contrary to such expectations, a criminal enjoys more benefits for which all men slave to provide in their working lives. To make matters worse, even an illegal immigrant or refugee gets better treatment than the senior citizen in terms of perks & benefits.

For crying out loud, is this laughable or laudable? Justice is supposedly to be fair & just – but its scale is tipping rightly or wrongly in favour of the undeserved. Such a scenario you would say can only happen in an undeveloped or under-developed world. But the truth is justice though preached is not seen to be done in the globalised economically developed world.

The world we live in is topsy turvy. Apparently, the value system has been manipulated by the “politically correct” politicians – devils & crooks in disguise.

Let’s switch it around & put the seniors in jail and the criminals in a nursing home. This way the seniors would have access to showers, hobbies and walks for starters and other perks & benefits that follow:

  • They’d receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs etc. and they’d receive money instead of paying it out.

  • They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.
  • Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them. A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks to their cell.
  • They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.
  • They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counselling, pool and education.
  • Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ’s and legal aid would be free, on request.
  • Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens.
  • Each senior could have a PC a TV radio and daily phone calls.
  • There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.

Now, for the “criminals” in the nursing home:

  • The “criminals” would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised.
  • Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week.
  • Live in a tiny room and pay £900.00 per month and have no hope of ever getting out.

    A Worthy Law Project?

Whether you are young or old, you’d be the judge and jury!

Surely, such a suggested scenario would be called “A Fair Go”!