China has had the one-child policy since 1979, introduced to help reduce China’s burgeoning population.  Now over 30 years later the impact is becoming very clear.

A recent article in China Daily points out that the one-child policy is having a major impact on the family structure, making it increasingly difficult for children to support their ageing parents.

During the next few years, the problem is only going to get worse when the first generation of the one-child policy offspring hit their 30s. The 4-2-1 inverted pyramid problem, where one child cares for two parents and four grandparents, could potentially lead to ageism, neglect and abandonment.

Last year the Central Chinese government announced that it would develop community based services to help provide services for the many elderly now living alone, not with their children.  Without this help the elders will have a difficult time as they become more frail.