Money versus love? Chinese nursing home pays people to visit elderly parents.

Money versus love? Chinese nursing home pays people to visit elderly parents

Suzhou’s Fuxing nursing facility in east China’s Jiangsu Province has recently launched a reward scheme which pays people a voucher depending on how often they visit their parents. The vouchers can be used to pay for relevant care home fees according to local media.
If a person visits his/her elderly parents at the nursing home more than 10 times within two months, he/she will receive a 50-yuan coupon. And he/she will receive 100 yuan (US 16 dollars) for visiting 20 times and get 200 yuan for 30 times.
Some 200 people have received the payments for visiting their elderly parents with 129 receiving the maximum “reward” of 200 yuan for visiting their parents more than 30 times within two months, according to the nursing home.
The nursing home says the payment system has caused visitor numbers to soar with some of the same people now regularly visiting their parents when they previously only came to nursing home once every two months.
However the success of the scheme has also triggered heated debate online and tapped into the culturally sensitive issue of care for China’s aging population.
“When it links together with money, some may come over and visit insincerely. I hope people will decide to visit their parents straight out from their hearts truly and deeply,” said @Blueturkey online.
“It can’t be like they just do it for money,” commented @Wukongshixiaoyaojing, “the policy is to make those who don’t really visit feel guilty.”
Despite criticism on some of China’s social media platforms the elderly residents in the care home seem to be in favor of the new scheme. Local media highlighted the example of Miss Zhou who previously visited her mother less than once a month and now regularly visits more frequently. Her mother is said to be happier and eating more.
Mr Wang however, who has been regularly visiting his paralyzed mother in the nursing home for years says the payment scheme will not affect how often he visits. Although it was unclear whether he uses the coupons when he does receive them.
The nursing home authorities said the scheme should not be seen as a simple payment to make people visit but was “more about a reminder to make people aware of their responsibility towards parents,” said Wei Mouwen, head of the nursing home.
Earlier this year reports emerged on CaixinOnline that people could see a broader version of their “social credit score” affected depending on how often they visit their elderly parents. A low “social credit score” could affect their access to social services for example.


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