Online care business raises filial piety concerns

Updated: 2013-07-16 13:20


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By the end of 2012, 194 million people in China were over the age 60, an increase of 8.91 million compared with 2011, according to a report by China Research Center on Aging.

The number of people aged 60 or above is expected to reach 202 million by the end of this year, or 14.8 percent of the total population, while the country's working population is shrinking, said the report.

"The law was originally made to advocate the love and care for one's elderly parents. It is more of an endorsement for filial piety than a cluster of legal clauses," said Wu Zhonghua, a lawyer at the Jinfeng Huachang Law Firm in east China's Jiangxi province.

Wu said the law reveals a general lack of affection between family members in society.

"Online elderly care services provide a complement to what the law requires, but fundamentally, love and care from family members are irreplaceable for older people," Wu added.

"It is reasonable for young people to entrust the task of visiting their elderly relatives to online elderly care service providers," said Shu Man, head of the Psychological Counseling Center at the Nanchang-based East China Jiaotong University.

Shu added it is probably the only choice for them because of mounting work pressures.

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