The conversations of life

Can we do this here? China pays children to visit their ageing parents

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The Fuxing nursing home in Suzhou in eastern China has reported an “explosive” increase in visitors since it introduced discounts on care costs to children who visit their parents more often.

The largest discount, worth 200 yuan (AU$36) is for those who visit 30 times over two months. 20 visits are worth 100 yuan (AU$18) while 10 are valued at 50 yuan (AU$9).

Before the rewards were launched in September, over 90 per cent of the home’s 500 residents didn’t receive regular visits from their relatives, with most children visiting their parents less than twice a month and some only once a year.

Scheme pays off – literally

Now over half of the residents are visited enough to earn the rewards, with 30,000 yuan (AU$5,378) in vouchers already awarded to 227 children.

Filial piety is a long-held tradition in China, but with many adult children too busy, local governments and officials have been stepping in to force them to look after their parents.

As we reported here, one village has even been publicly ‘naming and shaming’ those who don’t care for their ageing parents, publishing their names and ‘crimes’ on a giant billboard.

Lauren Broomham

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.


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