If you are not living with your parents, do you often visit them? Well, no one would blame on you if you did not. But in the future, the Chinese government may be will. Recently, the NPC Standing Committee law enforcement inspection group held a forum in revising the Elderly Rights and Interests Protection Law. Lawmakers suggest to amend the law and include a new policy that would require people to visit their parents more often.
They named this new policy as ‘Go Home Often and Visit’ (常回家看看). The idea is to restrict adult children to go see their parents once in a while. The lawmakers stated in the drafting of a new article titled ‘Spiritual Consolation’:
“Family members should not ignore and isolate the elderly, especially those that lived separately from caregivers, and should be visited often and asked after.”
However, the Shandong Academy of Social Sciences Research Institute does not agree as this law is “too vague” and “not conducive to implementation”.
Instead of saying this policy is necessary, here is some evidences to show elderly really needs this new policy. According to China Daily, a report found nearly 40 percent of the elderly people living in Chinese cities are suffering from feelings of depression, significantly more than had experienced such feelings 20 years ago.
The report also stated an interview with an 86-year-old woman who has lived alone since her husband’s death, who said:
“I feel quite lonely sometimes. I always wanted my children to come back to visit me, but they have to take care of their own families and are very busy at work. I am not blaming them for that. After all, they have their own lives.”
Moreover, the report interviewed an adult children who named Wang Min, and her mother is a 58-year-old retired teacher who has not worked for more than five years. Wang Min said in the report:
“My mom always calls me at my work and keeps telling me about little things, she has plenty of time during the day since my father still goes to work. I always ask her to take on some outside interests, but she can’t and gets angry very easily. I felt guilty and am trying my best, but still cannot help. I am very worried about her state of mind.”
The latest census data, released by the National Bureau of Statistics in April, showed that the number of people who are 60 or older rose to make up 13.26 percent of the mainland’s population of 1.34 billion in 2010. In 2000, it had been 10.3 percent of the population.
If this new obligation has been approved, then people in China will have no excuse not to visit their parents, otherwise may show disrespectful to the Chinese law. In fact, visiting our parents are an act of filial piety. Setting up a new policy to force people to visit their parents seem to be inappropriate though.
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