The "Old Second Generation" of the Country in the Cracks

  Our reporter Zhou Nan

  There is the old at the top and the young at the bottom. In the past, it was often used to describe the life difficulties of middle-aged people.

In the current rural pension pattern, it is also appropriate to use this sentence to describe the problems faced by the young people.

Many elderly people in their 60s to early 70s have 80 or 90-year-old parents to support, and some grandchildren who stay at home to support, and some have to save money to provide support for their children to buy a house in the city.

  The problems faced by the “second generation” group in a "crack" state reflect the current situation facing rural elderly care: the traditional family elderly care model has been weakened, the new elderly care model has not been established and sound, the government, the market, the village, and the family have their own However, the provision of elderly care services is fragmented, and the improvement of rural elderly care mechanisms faces multiple challenges.

  It is necessary to provide for the elderly while helping the children to support the family

  Niugao Village, Rongjiawan Town, Yueyang County, Hunan Province, is located on the bank of Dongting Lake. The villager Zhao Sanlai, who is close to sixtieth birthday, is a famous filial son in the village. His 86-year-old father and 83-year-old mother live with him half of the time each year. Together.

  "I have four brothers in my family who take care of my parents on a monthly basis. The eldest brother's family works in Guangdong, and his filial piety is done by my wife and I. Of course, the cost of that month is still paid by the eldest brother." Zhao Sanlai told Xinhua Daily Telegraph reporter, the two elderly people are very old.

He said: "Now that the national policy is good, medical insurance can reimburse a lot of expenses, each time you pay about two to three thousand yuan, and the money is not tight. What is nervous is that someone needs to be accompanied and taken care of."

  There are also a pair of grandchildren who need the care of Zhao Sanlai and his wife.

Son and daughter-in-law work in Sichuan, while grandchildren stay in their hometown to study.

"My son and daughter-in-law want to make more money while they are young. The two children are taken by my wife and I since weaning."

  Zhao Sanlai and his wife were not well-educated and could not help with homework, so they spent 3,000 yuan to send their grandson to a caregiver after class, and then came back after finishing the homework.

This choice fixed Zhao Sanlai’s radius of activity. He said: “I pick up the children at 8:30 every night, so I can only work nearby.”

  His wife takes care of the family's diet and daily life. Zhao Sanlai grows 1.5 acres of rice and does odd jobs nearby, mostly on construction sites.

The down-to-earth farmer joked that although he is approaching the "retirement age", he can still earn some money every year. "The son will send back the tuition, fees and living expenses of the grandchildren, but it is definitely not enough. I will post 10,000 yuan every year. Diverse."

  His support to his son is not limited to this.

The son and daughter-in-law have discussed with him that in order to provide the child with better learning conditions, he wants to buy a house in the county or Yueyang City in the future.

Zhao Sanlai did not consider keeping pension money for himself. “If I save money by then, I will definitely use all of it to support them. If it is not enough, I will help them to borrow it.”

  Ou Haihong, deputy secretary of the Party branch of Niugao Village, told reporters that most of the young and middle-aged people in the village go out to work or do business. Among them, 64 households have two generations of elderly people, and the situation is similar to that of Zhao Sanlai's.

  According to Chen Xishui, deputy director of the Civil Affairs Bureau of Yueyang County, the county is 724,400, with a population of about 137,000 over 60, accounting for 18.92%, of which 21,000 are over 80.

He said: "Similar families are more common in the rural areas of the county, and they will only increase a lot in the future."

  During the interview, some old people who were in a similar situation to Zhao Sanlai jokingly called themselves "the second generation"-they were old people, and there were old parents on them.

Lei Wanghong, a teacher at the School of Public Administration of Central South University, pays attention to rural elderly groups throughout the year. She found in her research that “With the continuous improvement of living standards, the number of elderly elderly groups has increased significantly. The pressure is not small for the children to support the family."

  "Older second generation" reflects four changes in rural elderly care

  "The problems faced by the young people reflect the many changes in the pattern of rural elderly care in my country. They are both effective and worrying." He Qianqian, a researcher at the China Rural Governance Research Center of Wuhan University, believes that this must be treated dialectically.

  The first is the increasing aging of the countryside.

The main data of the seventh national census released in May this year showed that there is a significant difference in the level of aging between urban and rural areas.

From a national perspective, the proportions of people aged 60, 65 and above in rural areas are 23.81% and 17.72% respectively, which are 7.99 and 6.61 percentage points higher than those in urban areas.

People in the industry generally believe that, in addition to economic and social reasons, this difference between urban and rural areas is also closely related to population mobility. A large number of young and middle-aged people in rural areas enter cities for employment and even settle down, which has aggravated the aging of rural areas.

  The second is the increase in the hollowing of the village.

The reporter found that this situation is more typical in the central and western regions and remote rural areas.

The acceleration of the urbanization process means that the hollowing out of some villages is further deepened, and more and more people enter the cities, which means the loss of the young and middle-aged population in rural areas.

  He Qianqian believes that from a sociological point of view, the hollowing of the village has led to the gradual dissolution of the internal social support system in the village, and the internal structure is becoming more and more loose. Mechanisms such as filial public opinion and blame have all been challenged.

During the reporter's interview in Yueyang, Hunan, some left-behind elders reported that their son worked outside and did not go home for many years, did not provide basic living expenses, and did not fulfill his maintenance obligations.

"He won't go back to the village anyway, and he's not afraid that others will say about him." An old man said.

  Third, the intergenerational distribution of family resources is facing challenges.

Lei Wanghong's research in many places in central China found that some elderly people chose not to go for treatment after they became seriously ill, and they were found to have a certain amount of savings after their deaths.

Lei Wanghong told reporters that there are two considerations behind this choice. On the one hand, children have to go to cities to buy houses, and grandchildren have to go to cities to study. Family resources are limited. They either invest in cities or invest in the countryside.

The left-behind elderly also considered that the cost of medical treatment might be extremely high, and once they lose their ability to take care of themselves, they also lack care and dignity, so they chose to leave the funds to their children and grandchildren.

Chen Zaixing, the head of the rescue unit of the Yueyang County Civil Affairs Bureau, has received many elderly people who want to apply for subsistence allowances in recent years. “The family conditions are actually good and they have children to support them. A lot of pressure."

  The fourth is the continuous improvement of the old-age security system.

“The young people can not only support the old people, but also help their children and grandchildren. Behind this is the party committee and the government continue to strengthen and improve the old-age security capabilities and systems, and provide certain support.” He Qianqian believes that in recent years, from rural old-age insurance to old-age insurance Subsidies, etc., related pension resources continue to sink, renovation of dilapidated houses, construction of safe drinking water, renovation and upgrading of rural power grids, collective economic dividends, etc., are of great significance to the improvement of the quality of life of the rural elderly.

  The reporter learned in many rural areas in Hunan that for the elderly over 60 years old, each person has a monthly rural pension insurance of 103 yuan; for the five-guarantee elderly who are decentralized, the financial subsidy is 501 yuan per person per month. The monthly financial subsidy is 748 yuan per person; the disabled elderly who meet the relevant conditions enjoy "two subsidies" of 140 yuan per person per month; if they are included in the subsistence allowance, there will be hundreds of yuan per month for different types of subsistence allowances gold.

  He Qianqian said: "There is another point that cannot be ignored. Since the targeted poverty alleviation, the grassroots governance system has been continuously improved, the construction of rural information has been accelerated, and relevant information about the elderly group, such as population size, age structure, health status, housing risk, and safe drinking water issues. In the past, the grassroots government did not fully grasp it, but now they are all filed and classified and gradually included in the government's vision. As a risk point for poverty prevention, they are gradually eliminated."

  The traditional old-age care model is weakening, and the new model has not been established

  How to reduce the burden for the "older second generation"?

A civil affairs bureau chief of a county in central China told reporters that, in contrast to the increasing aging problem, the government's support for rural elderly care is still insufficient.

He took the township-level nursing home as an example. According to local policies, the township’s operating expenses for the township-level nursing homes are borne by the township. Headquarters, utilities, living materials, maintenance costs, etc., generally cost about 400,000 yuan per year.

Many villages and towns have difficulty in realizing this fee. The directors of nursing homes can only go to various levels and units for a long time to "make alms", and nursing homes can only provide services at a guaranteed minimum level.

  He Qianqian also found in a previous survey in a county in central China that 23 public pension centers had been built in the local area in the past few years. She investigated 18 of them and found that 6 were actually operating. 5 of them were transformed into private institutions, and only 1 was a private institution. The government continues to operate.

"The core is the problem of funding. Construction is a large amount of funds. The later operation investment is greater, and the safety responsibility for management and maintenance is also large. Some slowly stopped."

  In recent years, some social capital has also entered the rural elderly care market.

The head of the Civil Affairs Bureau told reporters that the relevant situation is also full of mud and sand. Some steps are too fast, the investment is large, the charges are high, and they are not adapted to the rural consumption level. A large number of beds have been idle for a long time and it is difficult to operate.

Some fish in troubled waters even illegally absorb public deposits, and pensions have become "deprived of old people".

  In some places, taking into account that the elderly should not be separated from the "acquaintance society" as much as possible, the village committee organizes the establishment of rural happiness homes and day care centers with the help of villages and other places, equipped with a full-time service staff and several part-time service staff. Provide daytime rest, leisure and entertainment services for the left-behind elderly.

  "It was done vigorously in the past few years. When it was first built, each village was given 30,000 yuan in funding, but now many of them can’t go on. The main reason is that the government has a large-scale model. Once there is no special funding, it will die. ." said a civil affairs cadre.

  "On the whole, the old-age care services provided by the government, market, villages, and households are basically fragmented. The traditional family pension model is weakening, and the new pension model has not been fully established. There are weak areas for rural elderly care, even The emergence of risk points, especially for families with two generations of elderly people, brings greater pressure." He Qianqian believes.

  To promote the establishment and improvement of the rural pension model as soon as possible, in addition to the industry's calls for years of government support, social capital to actively enter, and urge children to do their responsibilities, many industry insiders interviewed believe that three connections must be made.

  One is cultural convergence.

Long Pan, deputy secretary-general of the Hunan Social Welfare and Senior Care Industry Association, said that the traditional concept of raising children for the elderly is deeply ingrained. Some families believe that only heirless and unfilial elders go to nursing homes.

During the investigation, He Qianqian encountered some elderly people who were sent to nursing homes by their children and expressed their opposition by hunger strikes and drugs. "As the degree of aging continues to deepen, institutional care will become an important supplement to family care. People must be helped. Change your mind as soon as possible."

  The second is the convergence of rules.

Ou Haihong told reporters that in the past rural society, children would be criticized by public opinion for not supporting their parents.

He Qianqian said that the hollowing out of villages is intensifying, and traditional methods and rules are gradually failing. In addition to improving relevant laws, external pension forces also need to connect with rural society in endogenous rules and re-establish a set of rules that adapt to changes in the times. This is inseparable. Open the support and guidance of the party committee and government.

  The third is the convergence of resources.

He Qianqian said that the rural elderly care at this stage is undergoing transformation, and it cannot be completely separated from the family, nor can it completely rely on the government and the market.

In terms of resources for the elderly, it is necessary to clarify the responsibility boundaries of the family, the market, and the government.

Keywords: zhao sanlai, old second generation, care, zhou nan, people, children, young, grandchildren, problems, elderly, old, families, village, country, generation