Elderly Chinese in Pacific Rim Countires

Elderly Chinese in Pacific Rim Countires: Social Support and Integration

Iris Chi
Neena L. Chappell
James Lubben
Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 280
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  • Book Info
    Elderly Chinese in Pacific Rim Countires
    Book Description:

    With longer life expectancy, most countries are now experiencing rapid ageing among their populations. Ethnic Chinese populations are no exception to these demographic transformations. During the twentieth century, there has been a wide dispersion of Chinese people throughout the world, as well as dramatic socio-political changes within China. These unique factors have strained traditional filial norms and necessitated a re-examination of intergenerational relationships and the roles of elderly Chinese people. This book investigates the varied adaptations of social support systems and social integration among ageing Chinese populations within a diverse set of countries in the Pacific Rim region. The book is a collection of scholarly papers addressing such topics as community care, family support, one-child families and social isolation. Each paper illustrates the importance of social support networks and social integration to the quality of life for elderly Chinese persons living in dissimilar circumstances.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-117-0
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. Contributors
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  5. 1 Silent Pain: Social Isolation of the Elderly Chinese in Canada
    (pp. 1-16)
    Marian E. MacKinnon, Lan Gien and Douglas Durst

    This study explores the perceptions of elderly Chinese people in a small urban area in one of the Atlantic provinces in Canada, who, for reasons such as health or finance, find themselves living with and dependent on their adult children. It explores their perceptions of how the care-receiving situation affects their health and adjustment to Canada.

    Current knowledge about the effects of socio-economic factors, the need to feel useful and productive, to have a sense of control over ones life, and the positive effect of social connections and other determinants of health (Premier’s Council on Health Strategy 1994), indicate the...

  6. 2 Long-term Care in Hong Kong: The Myth of Social Support and Integration
    (pp. 17-34)
    Raymond Ngan and Edward Leung

    Community care has been the major policy objective in developing services for the elderly in Hong Kong since its adoption in 1977 (Hong Kong government 1977). Not only has the notion of family care been commonly practised among the elderly Chinese, but it has also been accepted within the community as a family’s responsibility to do so (Hong Kong government 1990). As community care seems to have been accepted as a culture-relevant policy for the aged, since it fits the concept of filial piety and family duty, the Working Group on Care of the Elderly recommended in 1994 that a...

  7. 3 The Lives of Elderly Bird-keepers: A Case Study of Hong Kong
    (pp. 35-52)
    Ho-hon Leung

    Bird-keeping is extremely popular in Hong Kong. A newspaper columnist once reported that bird-shop owners estimated there were about 200 000 bird-keepers in Hong Kong. Although the number may not be accurate, we can see that people keep birds everywhere. If we look into the windows of any residential buildings, it is not difficult to find cages hung against windows or in the balcony. Taxi or mini-van (a public transport) drivers take their birds to work. The popularity of bird-keeping is unquestionable.

    Who are these bird-keepers? They are children, women and men of all ages. However, those who are ‘visible’...

  8. 4 Social Support Networks among Elderly Chinese Americans in Los Angeles
    (pp. 53-66)
    James Lubben and Alex Lee

    The study of elderly Chinese American populations is of increasing importance. Between 1980 and 1990, the total Chinese American population grew eight times faster than the total US population (Barringer, Gardner and Levin 1993). Largely, it was immigration rather than new births that drove this surge because Chinese American women have one of the lowest fertility rates among American women. Given these low birth rates and the advanced age of many of the recent immigrants, it is not surprising that the Chinese American population is one of the most rapidly ageing subgroups in the US.

    US immigration policies partially account...

  9. 5 Social Support of the Elderly Chinese: Comparisons between China and Canada
    (pp. 67-80)
    Neena L. Chappell and David C.Y. Lai

    While studies of life satisfaction and quality of life abound in gerontology, only recently has attention focussed on the elderly Asians, specifically Chinese, in this area. Understandably, most of the research on the elderly Chinese discusses those living in one location, for example, in Hong Kong or in Calgary. Research examining the quality of life among the elderly Asians, specifically Chinese, has to date not incorporated cross-national comparisons. Rather, studies of the elderly Chinese in North America frequently assume that their difference from the host society is attributable to their foreign ‘culture’, despite the fact that Chinese culture is also...

  10. 6 Social Support and Integration: An Illustration of the Golden Guides Uniform Group in Hong Kong
    (pp. 81-96)
    Alex Yui-huen Kwan and Sophia Siu-chee Chan

    The effects of population ageing are felt today in many Asian nations (Lee 1995). In Hong Kong, the population passed the six million figure for the first time in 1996 and reached 6 860 000 in 2000, comprising 3 462 500 men and 3 397 500 women (Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department 1997, p. 7, Table 1). Life expectancy, which was estimated to be 75.1 for men and 80.8 for women in 1991, is expected to rise to 78 for men and 83 for women by the year 2016. These changes will increase the proportion of the population aged...

  11. 7 Health-related Quality of Life of the Elderly in Hong Kong: Impact of Social Support
    (pp. 97-114)
    Weiqun Lou and Iris Chi

    The ageing of society presents challenges to social and economic development all over the world. A strategic aim of the World Health Organization is to promote healthy ageing so as to: (1) maximize independent living of older persons and promote their further contributions to society; and (2) minimize the demands for family and social care for older persons. The quality of life of the elderly population would be greatly improved if these goals could be achieved.

    As a financial and economic centre in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong has become more and more urbanized since 1980. More than 95% of...

  12. 8 Care of the Elderly in One-child Families in China: Issues and Measures
    (pp. 115-124)
    Shixun Gui

    The mainland of China has the largest number of elderly of Chinese origin than anywhere else in the world. It was estimated that, at the end of 1999, the population aged 65 or above reached 92 510 000 and accounted for 7.6% of the total population (State Statistical Bureau 2000). There will be extremely prominent social issues in China in the future — how to take good care of a large number of elderly people in one-child families.

    In September 1980, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China pointed out to all its members and the Communist Youth...

  13. 9 The Practice of Filial Piety among the Chinese in Hong Kong
    (pp. 125-136)
    Nelson W.S. Chow

    As a society made up predominantly of the Chinese race, it is only natural for the Chinese culture to exert an influence on how elderly people are being treated in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China. For thousands of years, the Chinese culture has been described as one of respecting the old, or xiao, as known in the old classics. Although some people have found this value too oppressive and inapplicable in the modern society, it is, however, still very much treasured and upheld by Chinese people all over the world (Chow 1991).

    Article 49 of the 1982...

  14. 10 Social Support and Integration of Long-term Care for the Elderly: Current Status and Perspectives in Taiwan
    (pp. 137-150)
    Shyh-dye Lee and Meng-fan Li

    Population ageing is a worldwide phenomenon. It has become a major challenge in most regions/countries as to the provision of support and care for their elderly citizens. Taiwan is projected to be second fastest in ‘population ageing speed’ in the next 30 years compared to comparable ageing countries, just following Japan (Table 1). That is, according to official prediction, the period for the doubling of the aged population in Taiwan, from 7% to 14%, will be less than 30 years, compared to 25 years in Japan, 70 years in the US, and 125 years in France. The shorter the doubling...

  15. 11 Social Support and Medication Use: A Cross-cultural Comparison
    (pp. 151-170)
    Erin Y. Tjam and John P. Hirdes

    After decades of research, gerontologists have come to a clear consensus that older adults are characterized by their heterogeneity rather than their homogeneity. As people age, their life experiences contribute to their uniqueness physically, psychologically and culturally (Fry 1990). Cultural and ethnic variations in health have been known for some time, and strict medical or biological models have not been able to explain more than a fraction of these variations. The remainder must be attributed, at least in part, to environmental, social and cultural factors (Zola 1979). An examination of health across cultures, especially in the elderly population, is timely...

  16. 12 Family Support and Community-based Services in China
    (pp. 171-188)
    Joe C.B. Leung

    Over the past two decades, the economy of China has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Between 1978 and 1996, China’s GDP grew at an average of 10% a year, and an average of 6% to 8% is expected in the first decade of the twenty-first century. More significantly, with a GDP per capita reaching US$961 in 1998, it is now ranked as a middle-income country (Asian Wall Street Journal, 17 April 2000, p. 2). While the successes of China’s economic reforms have been substantial and indisputable, they have been accompanied by a wide array of...

  17. 13 The Role of Social Support in the Relationship between Physical Health Strain and Depression of Elderly Chinese
    (pp. 189-200)
    Xingming Song and Iris Chi

    The examinations of social support and of life stress are two leading approaches to contemporary social studies of depression. During the past several decades, considerable research effort has been devoted to investigating the impact of life stress on mental health. There is ample evidence which shows that stressors may play a causal role in depression. Yet the evidence is also clear in suggesting that the majority of people who are exposed to stressors do not develop significant depressive disorders. For this reason, research interest has shifted to factors like social support that may modify the impact of life stress. Thus,...

  18. 14 Living Arrangements and Adult Children’s Support for the Elderly in the New Urban Areas of Mainland China
    (pp. 201-220)
    Shengming Yan and Iris Chi

    In the past two decades, China has experienced rapid urbanization. Statistics show that in 1978, the urbanization rate in China was only 17.92%, whereas in 1995, the level of urbanization reached 29.04% (State Statistical Bureau 1996).

    In the process of this rapid urbanization, many cities have encroached on outlying farmland, transforming these previously rural areas into new urban districts. As a result, quite a large proportion of the rural population, including the elderly, has been integrated into urban life. What effects does this have on rural people who find themselves living in a new and unfamiliar environment? For gerontologists and...

  19. 15 Elderly Chinese in Public Housing: Social Integration and Support in Metro Toronto Housing Company
    (pp. 221-240)
    Morris Saldov and May-lin Poon

    By the year 2021, the elderly Canadian population is expected to exceed five million if present immigration levels and mortality rates are sustained (Secretary of State 1988).¹ The largest ethnic group in Canada who are unable to speak either of Canada’s two official languages is the Chinese (population: 100 185). Elderly Chinese are expected to lead the growth rate among ethnic elderly people between 1991 and 2006, particularly in Toronto and Vancouver where they are projected to have the highest growth rates in the country (Multiculturalism and Citizenship Canada 1993). China and Hong Kong have continued to be among the...

  20. 16 Health and Care Utilization Patterns of the Community-dwelling Elderly Persons in Hong Kong
    (pp. 241-256)
    Ben C.P. Liu, Y.H. Cheng and S.M. McGhee

    Hong Kong is no exception to the global trend of population ageing. It is predicted that people aged 65 or over will increase from 10% in 1991 to 13.3% over the next two decades in Hong Kong (Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department 1997). Concerning those aged 60 or over, in 50 years’ time, they will make up about two-fifths of the population in Hong Kong. By 2025, the proportion of elderly population in Hong Kong will be higher than that in Japan and China (Ming Pao Daily News 1999). The growing ageing population will bring along social repercussions. Although...

  21. Index
    (pp. 257-260)