|Adults in China will be required to visit their elderly parents regularly and care for their emotional needs, according to a draft amendment of China's law regarding the elderly.
Legal Mirror reported that the draft stipulates that family members shall not ignore old people's emotional needs nor leave them isolated.
Wu Ming, an official from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, indicated the elderly can appeal to the law in the future if their children do not go home often and take care of them.
However, Wang Shichuan, a news analyst, questioned whether such a moral issue can be properly solved by law. He pointed out that the effect of the law may be weakened if it cannot be effectively implemented.
Wang also argued that many adult children who work outside their hometowns actually have little chance to go back home and visit their parents because they have engrossing jobs and very few holidays.
Currently, China has the total number of 167 million elderly people, half of them are living alone without children, and some of them cannot even get good care. Wang pointed that it is even more necessary for the country to strengthen its elderly support system.
Wang's concern has also been embodied in the draft, which encourages social institutions, volunteers and community workers to offer more door-to-door services for the elderly.
"For a typical Chinese family in which two adults have to take care of four old people and one child, adult children indeed have difficulties to take care of their elderly parents. Therefore, more social supports are required," said Wu.
Wu also added that the draft encourages local government to issue allowance and offer free medical and other health services to citizens over 80 years old according to local conditions.
China's current elderly persons law was adopted on Aug 29, 1996, and went into effect Oct 1 the same year.