What can happen when you combine a successful one child policy with the most self-absorbed generation to date?
Visit the Elderly, a law that makes it possible for parents to sue their children for not caring for them.
Yep, that’s right.
Just such a law went into effect in China last Monday, July 1.
“Because of the success of the One Child Policy that Chinese officials now feel the need to implement the new Visit the Elderly law. With government-provided assistance very limited, seniors in China largely depend on their families to care for them in their golden years. Hence the risk from the One Child Policy: Without brothers and sisters to pick up the slack, all it takes is one unfilial child for the system to break down. ” Bloomberg Newsweek
Chinese people must now pay a visit to Grandma and Grandpa or at least call on the phone or else they may seen their parents in court.
According to the China Daily newspaper, “Parents whose children live apart from them and fail to visit regularly can ask for medication or file a lawsuit”.
A lawsuit, really…?
I say “woe upon the child who neglects their elderly parents”.
My mother who will be 90 years old this year lives with us. She has Parkinsen’s Disease, is almost blind, has a pacemaker, had all her teeth extracted this year and has great difficulty walking.
She has six physicians. All of which I know on a first name bases.
She takes seven prescription pills a day.
Her cardiologist said that her heart is slowing failing. Our time with her is limited.
Thankfully, Craig, my husband shares in caring for her. He takes her to as many doctor’s appointments as he can so that he can better understand her health issues.
Mom calls him “son” and Craig calls her “mom”.
I would be very angry if the U.S. passed a law like “Visit The Elderly” because it would rob me of the choice of honoring and caring for my mom. There is something very powerful about ‘choosing’ to do the right thing even when it is hard, inconvenient, stressful and time-consuming.
I’ve started a blog about my journey with My Mamma Ruth. I’ll let you know when it is published. If you have a parent in their 80s or 90s or if you’re a member of the ‘sandwich generation’ you may relate to some of my blog entries.
“Honor your father and mother. This is the first of the Ten Commandments with a promise. And this is the promise. If you honor you father and mother, you will live a long life, full of blessing.”