One of the more prominent traits of being culturally Chinese are the strong family bonds that come with it… or so you’d think. A recent study of the elderly in Guangdong province proves otherwise. It appears that with the onset of modern life, the traditional practice of children supporting their parents is wearing away.
Despite the notion that plenty of children lead to less worries in the retirement years, this three month study reveals an emerging trend in the relations between ageing parents and their offspring. For instance, some traditions still seem to be intact, but only going one way:
more than 40 percent of the elderly take care of grandchildren, with 20 percent helping with housework. In addition to these laborious efforts, financial support is also given, as reported by China Daily:
The study was done by the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences’ elderly affairs research center, from July to September of this year, and found that more than 10 percent of the people have to give monetary support to their adult children on a monthly basis. A third of them give money to their children from time to time
But surely their adoring kids must repay them with love, care, devotion… no?
Perhaps surprisingly, even when they live with their children, most of the elderly are confronted with loneliness. The study found that more than 75 percent of the elderly long for greater spiritual support from their children.
Quite an unfortunate report for China’s rapidly growing senior population, which is set to reach 200 million by 2015. That’s a large number of disgruntled, and unfortunately uncared for, elderly. So what are we going to do? Well, Shanghai’s Xuhui District has one idea: ship them off to Chongming Island.
Oof. All this talk about elderly has got us wondering, when was the last time you gave your gramms a hug?