Sunday, March 2, 2008

Daughter Needed

I've not always responded well when abuse of the elderly or neglect by adult children has appeared in our news. I and many others are encouraging adult children to plan with their parents how and where they will age. As the number of our elderly increase, care by the children and other family members, not neglect, is growing in the United States despite the distances between the family. And I'm proud of that fact.

In a recent Newsweek edition, I read an article on the aging population in China. Many, through no fault of their own, have been left to age alone and lonely. The sons, so prized for many years, have gone off to other countries to find work and improve their lives. Most families in China had been limited to one child. And like the elderly in our own country, they prefer to remain at home. But now, they are wishing for daughters.

Daughters most often are the ones who care for the aging parents. In China where a couple do not have a natural daughter, they are advertising for one! It seems it is still considered shameful to go into a nursing home, even if one is available. The government is working on a system of care, so the article says. But it could be a while putting a system in place. In a country with as great a population as China, I hope the elderly find a daughter to "adopt" and receive the care and love they deserve.

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