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Asia's next challenge : caring for the elderly

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Publication Date: January 1998

Publisher(s): East-West Center

Author(s): Sidney B. Westley

Series: Asia-Pacific population & policy ; no. 45

Topic: Health (Health services for older people)
Population and demographics (Older people)

Type: Brief

Coverage: Asia


In the more advanced economies of East and Southeast Asia, sharp declines in fertility, combined with rising life expectancies, will eventually produce unprecedented population aging. Just as the numbers of elderly are poised to soar, several factors may reduce the ability or the motivation of Asian families to care for the older generation. Can Asian governments step in? Recent financial crises highlight concerns that governments in the region will not have the resources to assume major responsibility for elderly care. At the same time, there are signs that working people in Asia are saving money to support themselves in their old age. How successful will they be?