A Care Needs Assessment of Elderlies in Empty Nest Families: The Case of Wenzhou, China

Authors

  • Yue Liu
  • Xin Li
  • Yuxi Lin

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.54097/ijeh.v4i3.1679

Keywords:

China, Elderly, Elderly care, Empty nest family, Wenzhou.

Abstract

China’s rapid modernization has resulted to significant shifts in its social, cultural, and economic makeup. Specifically, its population is ageing that threatens their economic growth trajectories. Because the tradition of “raise children against ageing” still has influence in Chinese society, the country is facing the issue of covering elderly care costs while ensuring continued support for everyone. Given China’s economic growth, we explore on how the needs of the elderly in empty nest families be fulfilled, particularly in Wenzhou where elderly population in empty nest families has been increasing. While both government and families demonstrate the need to care for the elderly by providing both tangible and intangible needs, survey results revealed that most elderlies in empty nest families in Wenzhou are satisfied living at home in their old age as long as they can still attend to themselves and can still find ways to satisfy their needs despite their age. These needs include continuing education, health consultations and assistance, and outpatient treatment. Knowing the specific needs of the elderlies in empty nest families allows government and families to direct resources on their actual needs that matter most rather than on perceived needs.

References

Bunn, F., Goodman, C., Russell, B., Wilson, P., Manthorpe, J., Rait, G., Hodkinson, I., & Durand, M. A. (2018). Supporting shared decision making for older people with multiple health and social care needs: A realist synthesis. BMC Geriatrics, 18(165). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-018-0853-9

Campbell, C. (2019, February 7). China’s aging population is a major threat to its future. Time. https://time.com/5523805/china-aging-population-working-age/

CCT News Official Account. (2021, May 12). China’s elderly care workers account for only 8%. National Health Commission: We must build up the team of care workers. CCTV News. https://baijiahao.baidu.com/s?id=1699545707141848612&wfr=spider&for=pc

Chinalawinfo Database. (2021, October 12). Measures lift quality of life for the elderly. China Daily. https://www.lawinfochina.com/Search/DisplayInfo.aspx?id=33224&lib=news&keyTitle=&keyCTitle=

Kemp, J. (2021, May 12). China’s productivity more important that its ageing population. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/chinas-productivity-more-important-than-its-ageing-population-kemp-2021-05-12/

Fan, R. (2007). Which care? Whose responsibility? And why family? A Confucian account of long-term care for the elderly. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 32(5), 495-517. https://doi.org/10.1080/03605310701626331

Fuligni, A. J., & Zhang, W. (2004). Attitudes toward family obligation among adolescents in contemporary urban and rural China. Child Development,75(1), 180−192. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3696574

Fung, D. (2019, November 14). China’s elderly market: Survey summary and recommendations. HKTDC Research. https://research.hktdc.com/en/article/MzYzODM2NTQ4

Gao, M., Li, Y., Zhang, S., Gu, L., Zhang, J., Li, Z., Zhang, W., & Tan, D. (2017). Does an empty nest affect elder’s health? Empirical evidence from China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(5). https://dx.doi.org/10.3390%2Fijerph14050463

Lee, A. (2021, May 13). China population: State pension fund under pressure from ‘unprecedented challenge’ as nation gets older. South China Morning Post. https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3133372/china-population-state-pension-fund-under-pressure

Leng, C., Yan, Z., & Woo, R. (2021, May 20). Ageing China boosts private sector role as pensions time bomb ticks. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/world/china/ageing-china-boosts-private-sector-role-pensions-time-bomb-ticks-2021-05-20/

Liang, Y., & Wu, Y. (2014). Exploratory analysis of health-related quality of life among the empty-nest elderly in rural China: An empirical study in three economically developed cities in eastern China. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 12(59). https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7525-12-59

Liu, A. P. L. (1992). The" Wenzhou model" of development and China's modernization. Asian Survey, 32(8), 696-711. https://doi.org/10.2307/2645363

Liu, J., Tian, J., Yue, P., Wang, Y., Du, X., & Chen, S. (2015). Living experience and care needs of Chinese empty-nest elderly people in urban communities in Beijing, China: A qualitative study. International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 2(1), 15-22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnss.2015.01.008

Luo, J. (2021). Rural long tail public service and the correction mechanism. Evidence from China. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-4023-0

Majumder, S., Aghayi, E., Noferesti, M., Memarzadeh-Tehran, H., Mondal, T., Pang, Z., & Deen, M. J. (2017). Smart homes for elderly healthcare – Recent advances and research challenges. Sensors, 17(11). https://dx.doi.org/10.3390%2Fs17112496

Mang, H. (2020). Health Care Blue Book: China Health Care Industry Development Report (2019) (Chinese Edition). Social Science Literature Press. https://biblio.com.au/book/health-care-blue-book-china-health/d/1397494091

Meng, Q., Hong, Z., Li, Z., Hu, X., Shi, W., Wang, J., & Luo, K. (2020). Opportunities and challenges for Chinese elderly care industry in smart environment based on occupants’ needs and preferences. Frontiers in Psychology, 11(1029). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01029

Peng, C., & She, P. (2018). “Raise children to fight against aging”: The determinants of elderly wellbeing in today’s China. The Singapore Economic Review. https://doi.org/10.1142/S0217590818420031

Podsakoff, P. M., & Organ, D.W. (1986). Self-reports in organizational research: Problems and prospects. Journal of Management, 12(4), 531-544. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F014920638601200408

Preedy V. R., & Watson R. R. (Eds.). (2010). Handbook of Disease Burdens and Quality of Life Measures. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-78665-0_5581

PricewarehouseCoopers China (PwCCN). (2017). China’s new leadership rolls out new blueprint for future development. Business Review of China’s 19th Party Congress. https://www.pwccn.com/en/research-and-insights/publications/china-s-19th-party-congress/business-review-of-china-s-19th-party-congress-cn.pdf

Su, H., Zhou, Y., Cai, Y., & Wang, Y. (2021). Mental health classification and quality of life of empty-nest elderly in China: A latent profile analysis. Research Square. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-658711/v1

Sun, J., & Ryder, A. G. (2016). The Chinese experience of rapid modernization: Sociocultural changes, psychological consequences? Frontiers in Psychology, 7(477). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00477

Sun, S., Xie, Z., Yu, K., Jiang, B., Zheng, S., Pan, X. (2021). COVID-19 and healthcare system in China: Challenges and progression for a sustainable future. Globalization and Health, 17(14), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12992-021-00665-9

Tan, W. (2021, May 12). China’s aging population will be a ‘big shock’ to the global supply chain, says economist. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/13/chinas-aging-population-could-be-a-big-shock-to-global-supply-chain.html

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). (n.d.). Online survey on promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment integration and full employment and decent work for all. https://www.un.org/esa/socdev/publications/FullSurveyEmpowerment.pdf

Vaswani, K. (2021, January 18). Covid-19: China’s economy picks up, bucking global trend. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-55699971

VOA News. (2021, May 23). In fast-aging China, elder care costs loom large. https://www.voanews.com/a/east-asia-pacific_voa-news-china_fast-aging-china-elder-care-costs-loom-large/6206123.html

Wang, J., & Wang, Z. (2020). Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis of China’s prevention and control strategy for the COVID-19 epidemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/7/2235/pdf

Wang, L., Wang, H., Wang, Z., Jiang, H., Li, W., Wang, S., Hao, L., Zhang, B., & Ding, G. (2021). Interpretation of healthy diet campaign in Healthy China Initiative 2019-2030. China CDC Weekly, 3(16). https://dx.doi.org/10.46234%2Fccdcw2021.092

Wei, K. (2010). The elderly in empty nests: China’s challenge (APIAS Monograph Paper Series No.18). Lingnan University. http://commons.ln.edu.hk/apiasmp/18

World Bank. (2008, June 19). China’s rapid urbanization: Benefits, challenges & strategies. https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2008/06/19/chinas-rapid-urbanization-benefits-challenges-strategies

Wu, S., & Yang, J. (2016). The World Wenzhou People Network Boosts the Research on the Internationalization of Wenzhou City. Journal of Zhejiang Vocational College of Industry and Trade, 16(3), 43-47.

Xie, X., & Xia, Y. (2005). Attitudes toward the elderly in China: Comparison of college students and baby boomers. International Journal of Sociology of the Family, 31(2), 145-158. https://www.jstor.org/stable/23070653

Xing, B. (2018). Establishment of spiritual care service system for empty nesters in new rural communities. Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, 206. https://www.atlantis-press.com/article/25894385.pdf

Xinhua (2021a, April 06). Poverty alleviation: China’s experience and contribution. Xinhuanet. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-04/06/c_139860414.htm

Xinhua (2021b, October 27). “People first” the core of China’s anti-epidemic measures. Xinhuanet. http://www.news.cn/english/2021-10/27/c_1310273047.htm

Xinhua (2021c, November 25). China rolls out measures to address population aging, boost well-being of elderly. The State Council of the People’s Republic of China. http://english.www.gov.cn/policies/latestreleases/202111/25/content_WS619eccebc6d0df57f98e57cd.html

Xu, Y. (2021, August). Development and performance of the elderly care system in the People’s Republic of China (ADB East Asia Working Paper Series). Asian Development Bank. https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/725291/eawp-036-development-elderly-care-system-prc.pdf

Yao, Y., Ding, G., Wang, L., Jin, Y., Lin, J., Zhai, Y., Zhang, T., He, F., & Fan, W. (2019). Risk factors for depression in empty nesters: A cross-sectional study in a coastal city of Zhejiang Province and China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(21). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214106

Yau, T., Kwok, C., & Tsang, Y. (2020). Volunteers help China’s isolated ‘empty nest’ seniors stay amid coronavirus outbreak. South China Morning Post. https://www.scmp.com/video/china/3051420/volunteers-help-chinas-isolated-empty-nest-seniors-stay-amid-coronavirus

Zhai, Z. (1997). Urbanization and the aging of urban population in China: Trend and countermeasures. China Journal of Population Science, 9(1), 35-44. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12320982/

Zhang, H., Jiang, Y., Rao, W., Zhang, Q., Qin, M., Ng, C., Ungvari, G. S., & Xiang, Y. (2020a). Prevalence of depression among empty-nest elderly in China: A meta-analysis of observational studies. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11(608). https://dx.doi.org/10.3389%2Ffpsyt.2020.00608

Zhang Q., Li, M., Wu, Y. (2020b). Smart home for elderly care: Development and challenges in China. BMC Geriatrics, 20(318). https://dx.doi.org/10.1186%2Fs12877-020-01737-y

Zhang, C., Cai, Y., Xue, Y., Zheng, X., Yang, X., Lu, J., Hou, L., & Li, M. (2021). Exploring the influencing factors of quality of life among the empty nesters in Shanxi, China: A structural equation model. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 19(156). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12955-021-01793-x

Zhang, Y. (2020). Are empty-nest elders unhappy? Re-examining Chinese empty-nest elders’ subjective well-being considering social changes. Frontiers in Psychology, 11(885). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00885

Zhou, Y., Zhou, L., Fu, C., Wang, Y., Liu, Q., Wu, H., Zhang, R., & Zheng, L. (2015). Socio-economic factors related with the subjective well-being of the rural elderly people living independently in China. International Journal for Equity in Health, 14(5). https://dx.doi.org/10.1186%2Fs12939-015-0136-4

Zhu, L. (2011, May 8). Don't let the rural elderly "empty nest" and "hollow". People's Daily.

Shi Jinzhi, Tang Lihua. Investigation and countermeasures on the health status of the "empty nest elderly" in western Hunan [J]. "Contemporary Sports Technology", 2019.10 (9), 200-202

Wang Shuilian, Yuan Dongsheng, Xu Xingying. The needs of the elderly in the empty nest family in rural Zhaoqing, Guangdong [J]. Chinese Gerontology Journal. 2018.11 (38), 5325-5327

Zhang Xiuping, Liu Zhongquan, Zhao Weiliang. Research on the establishment of an "empty nest" community life support system for the elderly [J]. Northeast University Journal of Academic Studies (Social Science Edition), 2006;(11):434-7.

Downloads

Published

20 September 2022

How to Cite

Liu, Y., Li, X., & Lin, Y. (2022). A Care Needs Assessment of Elderlies in Empty Nest Families: The Case of Wenzhou, China. International Journal of Education and Humanities, 4(3), 91–101. https://doi.org/10.54097/ijeh.v4i3.1679

Issue

Section

Articles