Many of us worry for our aging parents. We feel sad every time we notice they’ve grown older, and guilty when we hear of ailments we cannot help relieve. We think back to our memories with our grandparents, look at our children, and worry that we’re robbing them of a better childhood. Although we try to fight for vacation days, coordinate and schedule them at the same time as our spouses, our kids’ schools, and our friends and relatives back home, we still always feel like we’re falling short.
Thankfully, there is a solution.
If we can just convince our parents to come to China, then we can all spend more time together. Global Times recently published an article on how more and more foreigners are traveling to China for the holidays, a season, or for good. They stay at nursing homes that hold onto the traditions of eastern medicine, allowing them to practice qigong on a daily basis while avoiding western medication.
Those who come are attracted by Chinese culture and a change in scenery, but they come back for the holistic approach nursing homes here take to caring for the elderly. Many owe their health to qigong, crediting the daily exercise for their improved well-being and recovery from pain. The experience of another culture, language, and healing method can be an enriching experience to any retiree.
Sold on the Benefits
Chinese nursing homes are also more cost-efficient than their Western counterparts. Although foreigners can only choose private institutions, which cost between RMB 5,000 (USD 754) and RMB 10,000 a month, it is still cheaper than the standard monthly cost of USD 2,600 to USD 4,000 in the UK and US, respectively.
If Beijing’s winter months are too chilling for grandma and grandpa’s joins, find a center with transprovincial or transnational agreements that allow its patients to transfer from one center to another. The agreement allows an inhabitant in, for example, Beidahe (Hebei) to transfer to a southern, warmer climate for the winter season, and then return afterwards. A nursing home in Hebei that cooperates with another nursing home in France is a good example of transnational cooperation; its residents can escape to Hebei for the summer months.
If you’ve been sold on the idea, know that all grandma and grandpa need are their passports and medical records!
Photo: Flickr (el_taytus)