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Elderly mother in Shenzhen successfully sues son for failing to visit

Posted: 11/12/2013 4:27 pm
And you thought the United States was litigious…
An elderly woman in Shenzhen has successfully taken advantage of a new law called the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Elderly People, enacted on July 1, which requires adult children to visit and care for their ageing parents.
A Henggang court has given a preliminary verdict saying a son needs to visit his mother at least once a week after she filed suit. It’s said to be the first case in Shenzhen in which an elderly parent has sued his or her child for irregular visit since the bill was enacted, Shenzhen Special Zone daily reports.
The plaintiff is an 80-year-old mother surnamed Liu, who lives in Longgang. She has a son, surnamed Li, and five daughters. After her husband died in 2011, Li rarely visited his mother, leaving her to wash her clothes and clean the house by herself.  Even when sick, Li did not send her to the doctor in a timely fashion.
She wasn’t all alone, however; her daughters took turns visiting and looking after her. After a few years, Liu moved in with one of her daughters, April. Even then, Li sent no money and visited infrequently. That’s when Liu decided to take advantage of the new law and file suit against Li, demanding weekly visits.
In considering its decision, the court pointed out that the bill says “family members should frequently visit the elderly.” Therefore, it was ruled Li’s neglect is not only against the law, it violates the ethics of Chinese society.  Even still, Li refuses to obey the order and has appealed the decision to a higher court.
Photo credit: China Daily

Guangzhou man abandons road-weary elderly mother

Posted: 10/21/2013 10:00 am

British Conservative politician Jeremy Hunt said last week that Asia was an exemplary model for elderly care. An op-ed in liberal paper The Guardian took issue with Hunt’s claims, pointing out that across Asia many of the elderly live “in a state barely better than completely neglected.”

A story that was published in Guangzhou Daily on Friday also suggests that Hunt’s admiration of Asian elderly care is misplaced.

A tearful Yang Lishi, 71, told the paper that she came down from Henan to visit her son on the National Day holiday. He immediately took her to the nearest homeless shelter and told her they would buy her a ticket home.

Such occurrences involving the elderly parents of migrant workers have been on the increase over the past two years, with 2-3 such cases every week. A representative of a local homeless shelter told the paper that over 60% of these parents aged over 70 suffered severely from illnesses such as dementia.

The shelter bought her train ticket home, but she did not get to speak to her son or see her 4 year-old grandson again as his phone was switched off.

China has tried to combat this societal problem by passing a law that punishes adults who fail to visit their elderly parents.

Guangzhou’s biggest old folks home yet was opened in Tianhe District in August but it is unlikely to be the parents of migrant workers who enjoy the service.


97 year-old woman locked up by her son

Posted: 06/19/2012 7:00 am

Filial piety is the fundamental basis of Chinese morality, according to scholar Joseph S Wu. But taking care of an aging population is one of society’s most pressing issues. Pension reform is being widely discussed, and People’s Daily recently published a survey as to whether the retirement age should be extended. There is also a shortage of nursing homes, creating a dilemma for many families as to how to balance busy working lives with raising children, and continuing to support elderly family members.

One extreme example of how not to treat an elderly family member was seen in Shenzhen recently.

A 97 year-old woman accused her son of locking her in a small room, giving her no access to a shower, and feeding her only a steamed bun that was too hard for her to chew. The son admitted his wrongdoing to the police and promised to treat her better in the future, according to The Southern Metropolis Daily. The woman, Cai Xueying, also said her son, surnamed Xue, pointed at her and yelled: “You don’t know shit!” When she told him she would report him to a newspaper.

Cai tearfully told the newspaper that after coming out of a retirement home in Buji, Longgang District on June 8, she was kept in the room for 6 days. When a reporter from the newspaper brought her a bowl of porridge, she was so hungry that she finished it in seconds. Photographs show the woman’s living quarters to be very basic with just a bed, a table and a lamp.

In a phone interview, Xue explained that he was on a business trip in Guangxi Province. When told that his mother was hungry, Xue said, “It’s natural to be hungry. If she’s hungry then give her something to eat,” before hanging up the phone, according to the newspaper. Xue has refused to speak to the media since.

A lawyer surnamed Huang said Xue’s behaviour amounted to maltreatment, but there is little legislation to deal with the neglectful treatment of the elderly.

Cai was born shortly after the collapse of the Qing Dynasty. She had 10 children, 5 of whom survived infancy, according to the newspaper. But for various reasons, her other children are unable to take care of her.

The story has become popular on the Internet. One Sina Weibo user said she should have disposed of him at birth. Another said the man should be punished for not appreciating how lucky he is to have a mother who lived so long.


A mysterious insect has killed four seniors in Guangzhou

Posted: 05/31/2012 11:00 am

There are concerns in Guangzhou over a particular insect that doctors believe contributed to the deaths of four senior citizens, according to Yangcheng Evening News.

Scrub typhus, also known as Japanese river fever or flood fever, is an acute febrile typhus disease. There are cases every year, particularly in summer as the muggy weather is conducive to insects breeding. According to the report, the four people who died have something in common: they had all been to Xiaogang Park(晓港公园)and apparently ignored the warning signs. The first symptom of having been bitten by the bug is a fever, which patients usually mistake for a cold and delay seeking medical help. In addition, people don’t always pay attention to bites on the waist, armpit, abdomen or thigh.

However, doctors say that patients should not be too worried as the illness is curable if identified. The signs can be very subtle so if you have any symptoms such as high fever, dry and flaking skin or scabs, you may need to see a doctor immediately. Doctors warn that following precautions should be taken when in parks or other grassy areas:

  • apply insect-repellent to your skin;
  • Wear long sleeves;
  • Do not sit or lie on the grass;
  • Do not touch the crops;

As always, maintain a high level of personal hygiene.  But maybe the best advice?  Avoid going to Xiaogang Park, at least for now.


Police in Fuzhou arrest a 62 year old for prostitution, along with her 85 year old John

Posted: 05/24/2012 3:02 pm

Earlier this month, police received a tip-off that sex was being solicited along Taijiangyang Zhong Road in Fuzhou, Fujian, and that most of the prostitutes were in their 50s and 60s.  Police followed some women who were suspected of being prostitutes, and discovered that they were even soliciting sex during the day on a stretch of the road.

When police raided the building which the women were emerging from, they found that three rooms on the second and third floors were being used for prostitution. In one room on the second floor, two men and two women were found together naked on a small bed. A large stash of condoms was also found. At the same time, the 85 year-old, identified as Lin, was found with a 62 year-old prostitute, the oldest woman the city has ever arrested for prostitution.

After being arrested, Lin told police he would accept punishment, but tearfully begged them not to tell his family because he “could not face them.”  Aside from Lin, two other prostitutes and two other Johns were also arrested.

A policeman told the Fuzhou Evening Post that society needed to stop marginalizing old people and be more sensitive to their needs.

Once stigmatized as a sign of lack of filial piety, an increasing number of Chinese are putting their elderly parents in retirement homes as the country develops and people’s working lives get busier.

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