A new amendment to a law passed in China will force kids to visit their elderly parents “often” or face legal ramifications. The law purportedly comes as a defense against the neglect and abandonment often suffered by older Chinese citizens.
The new law does not clearly state guidelines on the visiting expectations required to avoid prosecution, according to an article by BBC News. The ruling does, however, indicate that cases of neglect will be dealt with in a court of law. Recently there have been an alarming amount of cases in China involving the abuse or abandonment of elderly individuals by their grown children.
In early December Chinese state media revealed that an unidentified female over the age of 90 was reportedly kept in conditions of squalor for approximately two years. The person responsible for this atrocity was the woman’s own adult son.
The Associated Press writes that Chinese news outlets commonly report on cases of parental abuse. The stories often feature adult children secretly attempting to gain control of their elderly parents’ property or finances without their consent.
One of the issues facing China is the widening increase of an elderly population versus a comparatively shrinking younger one. The country also has family planning policies in place that prevent most parents from having more than one child. Therefore, the burden on the younger population could become greater.
The elderly population of China continues to grow in numbers partly due to a lengthening life span over the past five decades. Once capping at 41 years, the current life expectancy now falls at 73 years. A longer lifespan means that individuals will need care for a longer period of time.
As it stands, China is struggling to properly care for its aging citizens. The decline in traditional family structure can lead to neglect. Unfortunately, abandoned parents have few options with a low number of affordable care facilities available.
Do you think China’s new law forcing kids to visit their elderly parents will prevent abandonment?