Filmmaker: Zheng Xiaolei
Elderly people in China are traditionally venerated. But the speed of China’s development is causing social and demographic change. Senior citizens are making up an increasing proportion of the population.
With a dwindling birth rate, there are fewer young people to care for the elderly. That burden could begin to have a major impact on the speed of China’s development.
More and more elderly people are choosing to live in retirement homes rather than putting pressure on their children.
In this episode of Faces of China we look at one elderly woman’s life inside a private retirement home in southern China.
Ms Xie used to work as a doctor-in-residence for a company in the nearby city of Fuoshan, and moved into the home after retiring three years ago. She divorced long ago and has a son working far away in China’s Sichuan province.
In the retirement home, in the wake of serious health considerations, she has to build new relationships, define a new rhythm to her daily life and invent new ways to be with others.