China: Old Age

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A poster giving to Liang Yunyu on her 100th birthday. The character is the Chinese symbol for "Long Life". She has 3 children, 2 sons and 1 daughter. She currently lives with one of her sons, Zha Yuheng who is 78 years old and has been retired since 1989. Liang Yunyu is visited on a regular basis by Chen Meijuan, a 49 year old laid off worker who was hired by a street community to frequently visit old people in Shanghai. Chen Meijuan is just one member of a 15 member team that is responsible for 4000 elderly citizens in Shanghai. China is facing a crisis with their rapidly aging population. The problem is significantly worse than the aging baby boom generation in Europe and North America. Chinaís One Child Policy has added to this problem as the burden of elderly parents is planted squarely on the shoulders of an only child.