As an American abroad, I often come across the comment that we’re cruel to be putting our elderly in nursing homes. While my parents are not at “nursing home” age, I have seen my parents go through the situation for their parents. And it is never considered abandonment. Both of them work full time; when would they have time to take care of someone who needs 24/7 medical attention?
According to a recent New York Times article, statistics on the rise of nursing homes show that sons and daughters of elderly might be rethinking their “I would never put my mother or father in a nursing home” attitude. In 1990, Nanjing had 27 homes and a decade later that number rose to 52 and then to 148 in 2009. Cities like Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai also saw a growth in the number of homes.
In a country where children are expected to take care of their parents when they reach a certain age, times are certainly changing. The root of this change towards adopting a Western approach to elder care may lie in other changes: “People are living much longer; family structures are changing; women have entered the workforce.”
To read the full article, click here.