Diminishing filial piety and its impact on long-term care policies Filial Piety is a virtue regarded by Confucius as a way to ensure a peaceful family and society. Filial piety is loyalty to one’s family and country. Filial piety is the most important moral in Chinese culture. Showing love for the nation and selflessness in protecting and loving one’s family is ideal. When developing and introducing policies to provide for the long-term care needs of the elderly, authorities must recognise the following:
1. The need for long-term care will rapidly increase, since populations in Asian Chinese communities are ageing even faster than those in western industrialised countries. 2. Private institutional care is often the only form of long-term care service available in Asian Chinese communities, with minimal governmental resources since it is generally held that the family should provide necessary support. 3. Home-based services are generally unavailable or in severely short supply, despite the fact that nearly all elderly people requiring long-term care remain in the community. 4. The influence exerted by filial piety is declining in Asian Chinese communities, though the value is still treasured as one that should regulate the behaviour of the children towards their parents. 5. Notwithstanding the diminishing role of the family, filial piety remains the most important source of support for elderly people requiring long-term care, and increasing state input is unlikely to be forthcoming in the near future.
Filial piety has lost its original meaning of absolute obedience to and sacrifice for parents. However, its ideological implication that the younger generation should respect the seniors and take care of their parents remains strong in rural China where support and services from outside the family are extremely limited. Elderly parents who had invested in their children received more financial support from their children than parents who had not. In other...
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