Appreciating Age: Examples of Senior Care Around the World

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When was the last time you visited your grandparents? Without asking your parents or anyone else, do you know how they’re going to be spending their day? Where are they now and who’s taking care of them?

Sometimes, without meaning to, life gets in the way and you may forget about your grandparents for a time. Busy schedules, personal crises, sometimes they pile up.

Even during busy times, some people still find some way to take care of the senior members of their families, be it their parents or their grandparents. They register them in assisted living facilities where professionals can look after them every day. If they’re more comfortable at home, people can hire a caregiver to keep them company and update their residences to suit their needs, like buying tubs for the elderly.

But how do people in other countries take care of their senior citizens? The following nations have exemplary ways to make sure they give their senior citizens the care they deserve.

Integrating With New Families

The Belgian government funds the care that their elderly citizens enjoy. These funds come from taxpayers and social contributions. Belgians favor allowing senior citizens to remain in their own homes, but when this is no longer sustainable, they turn to “kangaroo housing.” This is a term for an initiative in which the government situates elderly citizens together with immigrant families. They share the same house but live on different floors. The immigrant residents can offer assistance to the senior citizen if they ever need anything, and the senior citizen gains a better sense of belonging and well-being.

Legal Guarantees

The Chinese government recently passed a law that requires children to give their parents the physical and emotional support they need in their later years. This law, entitled “the Law on Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly,” levies fines and even imprisonment on children who forget to provide these things to their parents.

The law aims to decrease the number of citizens who emotionally and financially neglect their elderly parents. To this end, the legislature requires children to visit their parents a requisite number of times in a given period.

A Joyous Holiday Just for Them

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Japanese lawmakers designated the third Monday of September as “Respect for the Aged Day.” This is a national occasion, and employees even receive holiday pay from work. On this day, families throw a feast for the senior members of their families and give them gifts as tokens of appreciation. Volunteers even go around their neighborhood giving free lunches to senior residents and make sure that none of them are alone and unappreciated during the day. It’s a community affair where children sometimes perform dances, and there are programs to entertain the honored elderly citizens.

The 21st century is an incredibly busy time. Sometimes, people fall through the cracks, forgotten in the blur and the rush of modern life. People should make sure that even though forgetting someone is hard to avoid sometimes, we remember them before it’s too late.