The ways in which older adult caregiving differs between countries depends on that culture’s view of the elderly. Are they respected? Are they ignored? Are there laws in the country that require children to regularly visit their parents? These issues and more can influence how caregivers interact with their charges.
In several Asian countries, the elderly are held in high regard. In Korea, the celebrations for 60th and 70th birthdays are a huge event. In China, they recently passed a law that says children of the elderly must visit their parents, or face fines and even jail time. In Japan, most old folks live with their children. Japan has a comparatively large elderly population, meaning most adults have their parents living with them. There is such a huge aging population, in fact, that adult diapers in Japan now outsell baby diapers.
Italy has an influx of Ukrainian caregivers, who may be leaving their own families, that come take care of Italy’s elderly. Because of this, Ukrainians make up the fourth-largest immigrant population in Italy, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
In India, the smaller villages often have few opportunities for young people, who move away to cities or overseas. A company called UberHealth has recently offered a way for the children of India’s elderly to monitor their parents’ health. These long distance caregivers are able to use the software UberHealth provides to keep up with their parents’ medical records and even order cars to take them to doctor’s appointments, all from a computer thousands of miles away.
No matter which country caregivers and their charges are living in, there needs to be more support for caregivers, and there are several international organizations who are trying to provide that support. We here at TotalHomeCareSupplies.com would love to hear about any experiences you may have with caregiving outside of the US.