Jeremy Hunt: UK should adopt Asian culture of caring for the elderly

theguardian: by Patrick Butler –

Jeremy Hunt will today tell British families they should follow the example of people in Asia, by taking in elderly relatives once they can no longer live alone.

It is important not to settle for “good enough care”, Hunt will say. Society has to rise to the challenge of making Britain “the best place in the world to grow old in”.

The health secretary, whose wife is Chinese, is due to say in a speech on Friday that he is struck by the “reverence and respect” for older people in Asian cultures, where it is expected that older grandparents will go to live with their children and grandchildren rather than enter a care home.

He will say: “In those countries, when living alone is no longer possible, residential care is a last rather than a first option. And the social contract is stronger because as children see how their own grandparents are looked after, they develop higher expectations of how they too will be treated when they get old.

“If we are to tackle the challenge of an ageing society, we must learn from this – and restore and reinvigorate the social contract between generations. And uncomfortable though it is to say it, it will only start with changes in the way we personally treat our own parents and grandparents.”

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Categories: Age, Europe, UK

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