SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

October 15, 2013

Things to know about China's new aged-care law

Elderly parents in China can now sue their grown children for both financial and emotional support.

The changes in the law in China reflect an increasingly urgent dilemma across the world: As populations age faster than ever before, families and governments are struggling to decide who will protect and provide for the old. Too often, the answer is nobody.

The Associated Press spent months reporting across formats on population aging and the growing problem of elder abuse and neglect for an occasional series, Old World. Here are five things to know about the situation in China, where filial piety, or respect for one’s parents, was once a given:

Honor thy father and mother — it’s the law

A handful of countries, such as China, India, France and Ukraine, require adult children to financially support their parents. Similar laws are in place in 29 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and most of Canada, but they are rarely enforced because government aid helps support the old. In Singapore, adult children who do not give their parents an allowance can face six months in jail.

Honey, so nice you came

More than 1,000 parents in China have sued their children for financial support over the last 15 years. But the law now goes further to require that adult children regularly visit their parents. Employers are required to give workers time off to do so, although that provision may be hard to enforce.

Going gray before getting rich

China is not yet wealthy enough to keep up with its rapidly aging population. It is projected to have 636 million people over age 50 by 2050, or nearly 49 percent of the population — up from 25 percent in 2010. Although a recent expansion of the medical system covers most Chinese, reimbursement rates remain low and out-of-pocket costs high. Many rural families cannot afford hospitals’ huge up-front deposits.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • Bandits hit 2 Beverly banks over 2 days

    BEVERLY -- Brazen robbers hit two Beverly banks in less than 24 hours. A man was arrested in connection with Tuesday's robbery, while the suspect in yesterday's incident remains at large, police said. It has been some time since this North Shore city

    April 17, 2014

  • 140416_SN_KYU_BAKER_3 Time to raise our game SALEM -- Swampscott Republican Charlie Baker has worked in state government for years, had success in the private sector and ran for governor in 2010. But the question he hears most on the campaign trail: Why does he want to run again? Baker said he

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • Marblehead temple to drop mandatory dues MARBLEHEAD -- It might be a sacred space, but even the house of God gets bills. Temples have traditionally paid those bills by charging mandatory dues for membership -- dues that could run into thousands of dollars a year. Now Temple Emanu-El has la

    April 17, 2014

  • North Shore residents to run in 2014 Boston Marathon

    The Salem News asked those on the North Shore who are running this year's Boston Marathon to share their reasons for running. 

    If you're running the marathon this year, it's not too late to share why you're running. Send a brief paragraph, a photo of yourself and a link to your fundraising site (if applicable) to Cheryl Richardson at crichardson@salemnews.com.

    April 17, 2014

  • Hunters call for an end to Sunday ban BOSTON -- Mike Prendergast likes spending time outdoors, hiking through the wilderness, sleeping under the stars, and taking aim with his compound bow on white-tailed deer and wild turkey from his perch in a tree. Working more than 50 hours a week as

    April 17, 2014