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Schermafdruk 2016 06 18 08.35.30A recent report from China National Radio revealed that many sick and frail seniors around the nation have chosen to end their own lives, arousing another round of public concern over elderly care. Statistics from the national health ministry show that elderly parents who live away from their adult children make up nearly half of the senior population, among whom about 10 percent have lost their spouses and live alone. Different lifestyles are thought to be a major reason for the generational divide. However, many seniors interviewed said they just don't want to "trouble" their children. A grandmother surnamed Sheng, 81, from east China's Anhui Province, has been living by herself over the past decade, with her only son working away in Shanghai. Once she told her son that she got a fever, the youngster immediate put aside his work and flew back, which made her feel she was a burden. Since then, she has never let her son know about her ailments. "When we elderly people get disabled or struck by some disease, we live on causing great burden on our youngsters. Hopefully, we can live, safe and sound; or, just die, promptly," she said. Another grandmother surnamed Liu, from Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu Province, echoed the sentiment. She works out regularly to keep healthy. Family chats always revolve around whether everything goes well with the youngsters, instead of her own conditions, she said. Despite the loneliness and inconvenience of living alone, many elderly people refuse to live in nursing homes. While the traditional practice of family-based senior care plays a big role, the poorly-run conditions of many rest homes are another cause. The majority of nursing homes in China rely on government funds, struggling to cover high costs. It is very difficult for them to get bank loans with low interest rates.

"The government encourages private nursing homes, but banks simply don't . . . . read more

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