Visit your parents. That’s an order. China’s national legislature amended its law on the elderly yesterday to require that adult children visit their aged parents “often” — or risk being sued by them.
State media said the new clause would allow elderly parents who felt neglected by their children to take them to court. The amendment does not specify how frequently such visits should occur.
A rapidly developing China is facing increasing difficulty in caring for its aging population. Three decades of market reforms have accelerated the breakup of the traditional extended family, and there are few affordable alternatives such as retirement or care homes.
State media reported this month that a grandmother in her 90s in the prosperous eastern province of Jiangsu had been forced by her son to live in a pig pen for two years.
News outlets frequently carry stories about elderly parents being abused or neglected, or of children seeking to take control of their parents’ assets without their knowledge.
Problems related to China’s elderly population are being fuelled by rising life expectancy — which has gone from 41 to 73 over the past five decades — and by the policy in force since 1979 that limits most families to a single child. …
What do you think about this law in China? Did you know it isn’t just China? USA Today in 2013 stated that there are laws in 29 US states requiring adult children to financially support their parents.
The changes in the law in China reflect an increasingly urgent dilemma across the world: As populations age faster than ever before, families and governments are struggling to decide who will protect and provide for the old. Too often, the answer is nobody. …
A handful of countries, such as China, India, France and Ukraine, require adult children to financially support their parents. Similar laws are in place in 29 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and most of Canada, but they are rarely enforced because government aid helps support the old. In Singapore, adult children who do not give their parents an allowance can face six months in jail.
There was a case in Pennsylvania where a son had to pay for his mother’s unpaid nursing home costs, but this would be unlikely in California. I’m not sure about other states. This is from 2016:
This topic has generated some discussion in the news lately, prompted by a recent case out of the state of Pennsylvania. In that case, a son was held liable for his mother’s unpaid nursing home costs of about $93,000, even when the mother had an application for Medicaid (called “Medi-Cal” in California) pending. The case has sent shivers throughout the country, and elder law attorneys have expressed concern that this case could signal a new wave of claims by nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to recover unpaid bills.
For now, the good news is that the statutes in California seem to disfavor claims of this nature. While statutes are on the books which – on their face – would seem to permit children to be held responsible for the costs of their parents’ care, yet California carves out a huge exception to this liability: if the parent is an “applicant for” or “a recipient of ” Medi-Cal, SSI, or other public benefits, then no claim of any kind can be made to recover the cost of care. In short, the law in California appears very unlike that in Pennsylvania, which apparently did not include a similar exception.