China’s rapid social changes continue to result in a growing, and largely unmet, need in services for the elderly.  As explained in this Caixin Online report, the family has traditionally carried the responsibility of caring for the elderly in Chinese Society.  However, 30 years after the implementation of the one-child policy, China’s young single-children have taken on the responsibility of caring for their parents.  “One couple caring for four elders and one child is becoming common, meaning the family burden has become very heavy for each young person,” writes reporter Lan Fang.  The country’s continued industrialization process has also resulted in many of the country’s young migrating to cities in search of work opportunities, while the elderly remain behind and without care.

This combination of factors has resulted in extreme shortages throughout the country in services for the elderly.  The Chinese government has begun to address this shortage by including a basic elderly care system as one of its national priorities.  Nonetheless, more funding and new policies by the Chinese government are vital to improve the conditions of the country’s ageing population.