Navigation Links
China's 1-child policy could backfire on its elderly
Date:9/2/2007

ST. LOUIS -- Chinas efforts to control population growth in the present may cause problems for the countys senior citizens in the future.

This prediction comes from a Saint Louis University School of Medicine researcher who spent a year in China studying its geriatric policies and practices.

Joseph H. Flaherty, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine in the division of geriatric medicine at Saint Louis University, said Chinas 1979 policy of limiting couples to one child may leave some older Chinese without a family member to care for them.

Everything is fine right now. Todays older Chinese had no restrictions so they had five or six children. They have plenty of caregivers. But these caregivers were limited to having a single child. What happens in 30 years when they turn 80" Their support will fall entirely on that only child. And, what if that child marries" Now youre talking about caring for four older adults.

The Chinese tradition of taking care of your family is strong -- maybe the strongest in the world -- but I dont know whether that tradition is going to be strong enough to counterbalance the pressures of todays society.

Flaherty says those pressures include finding a job. Both men and women are expected to work in China today and the pressure to find work forces people to move around.

In the past, it was almost forbidden for you to move away from your family, your city or your village but now, its necessary if you want to find work. Are you going to take your 80-year-old parents with you" If youre married, are you going to take both sets of parents with you" These are questions I dont think were considered when the one-child policy was instituted.

Flaherty notes that couples with money can hire a baomu, a type of live-in maid who provides care for an older person. But while this person may have eldercare training there are no standards.

Flaherty spent a year (October 2005-September 2006) visiting Chinese homes, universities, hospitals and nursing homes in three major cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu -- all cities with populations of more than 10 million. His findings and experiences are contained in his article, China: The Aging Giant, in the August issue of The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Flaherty says that by 2030, 336 million Chinese will be over the age of 60. If the burden of care for senior citizens shifts from family to facilities, such as nursing homes, the country would be unprepared. While China has nursing homes, it has far fewer than most developed countries. It is predicted that Beijing alone would have to construct 48 new nursing homes a year to keep up with the aging population.

On the up side, Flaherty observed that the Chinese elderly who are in nursing homes appear to be happier than many of their U.S. counterparts in nursing homes.

One big reason is room. Chinese elderly who live at home are usually living with multiple generations in an apartment or flat. In a nursing home, they have their own room, maybe even their own bathroom. Being placed in a nursing home is not necessarily a negative experience in China, which was refreshing to see.

Flaherty also was impressed with the community networks Chinese elderly establish for themselves.

Here in the United States, its easy for an older adult to become isolated. They drive to the store, get what they need and come home. In China, the cities are so overcrowded its almost impossible not to socialize. You dont drive as much. You walk. If you are older, you have to get out and shop because your children are busy working. You have to engage with your neighbors because theyre right on top of you. I think this forced socialization and the walking keep them healthy.

Flaherty says it is important to keep an eye on Chinas policies toward its aging population because within 25 years the country will be a leading power. How China treats its elderly may be mimicked by other countries.

Flaherty, who also has studied aging in Japan and Hong Kong, expects to go back to China in October for follow-up studies.


'/>"/>
Contact: Nancy Solomon
solomonn@slu.edu
314-977-8017
Saint Louis University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Chinas Blue Ear Virus-no Hogwash
2. Aggressive Tobacco taxation policy can reduce cigarette smoking
3. New policy allows Britons to decide on treatment center
4. New UK Policy Threatens The Flexible Working Scheme
5. Clash of Difference of perceptions in food policy among Principals’ and Director
6. Global Fund Policy Encouraging Drug Resistance
7. Medical councils Claim Lack Of Funds For The New Medical Policy Of The Elderly
8. Neurologists Call For National Stroke Prevention Policy
9. HIV/AIDS Policy Needed at Workplace: Experts
10. OPPI Opposes Draft National Pharmaceuticals Policy
11. NIACL to Pay Rs 2.19 lakh for Repudiating Mediclaim Policy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded ... Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada wear ... a way to both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole ... enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese ... PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica Scruggs ... for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs surgery, ... Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, MD, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As ... with Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine ... and returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... plastic surgery procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to ... known procedures, but also many of these less common operations such as calf and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization ... in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical trial (Halt ... its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the trial to ... 2016, and to report top line data from ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 , , ... July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: , , ... , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & ... Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Revolutionary technology includes ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced audiology and hearing ... Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first internet connected hearing ... IoT devices.      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382240 ... number of ,world firsts,: , TwinLink™ - ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: