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Taking Turns Supporting Elderly Parents—Statistics from Field Investigations in Hebei (北方农村老年人 “轮养” 方式研究—基于河北调查 数据)

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image of Rural China

Abstract In multi-child families, lunyang (different children taking turns to provide support) for aged parents or single parents has been a form of family old-age support since ancient times. Based on the survey I carried out in 2008 in three villages respectively located in Zhao county (south central Hebei), Fengrun district of Tangshan county (East Hebei), and Chicheng county (Northwest Hebei), this article intends to achieve a comprehensive understanding of lunyang, a form of old-age support in North China villages, through statistical analysis. According to this research, 13.30% of the elderly people older than 60 in the surveyed villages were under care rotation. Regionally, Fengrun district had the highest level of lunyang, where over 20% of the surveyed elderly people lived by lunyang. In comparison, the elderly people under lunyang numbered 13.45% in Zhao county and only 3.55% in Chicheng county. In terms of age group, more than 30% of the surveyed elderly people older than 80 in Zhao county and Fengrun district were under lunyang. From the perspective of lunyang’s form, the portion of the singles under lunyang amounted to more than 70%. In other words, widowed elderly constituted the main part of lunyang. Couples under lunyang numbered less than 30%. The mainstream practice was for the different children to provide both meals and accommodation in turn, accounting for 70% of the cases of lunyang. However, the practice of meal rotation only increased among elderly people older than 80, accounting for over 30%. The practice of accommodation rotation only accounted for slightly more than 10%, and concentrated on people younger than 70. In most cases, the duration of the cycle for lunyang ranged from 1 month to 1 year, and the cycle of 1 month and 1 year accounted for more than 60%. In terms of control over resources for survival, only 10% of elderly people under lunyang owned their residence, and the overwhelming majority of them relied on their children to provide living expenses, showing the weak control of elderly people under rotation over survival resources and their rigid dependency on their children for old-age support. (This article is in Chinese.) 摘要 有多子的年老父母或单亲以 “轮养” 方式被赡养是一项古已有之的家庭养老做法。本文以 2008 年笔者在冀中南赵县、冀东唐山市丰润区和冀西北赤城县三个村庄所作问卷调查为基础,对 “轮养” 行为进行统计分析,试图比较全面地认识北方农村这一养老模式。根据本项研究,调查村庄 60 岁以上受访老年人被 “轮养”比例为 13.30%。 其中,丰润区 “轮养” 水平最高,超过 20% 的受访老年人以 “轮养” 方式生活,赵县为 13.45%,赤城县则只有 3.55%。分年龄组看,赵县和丰润区 80 岁以上受访老年人被 “轮养” 者超过 30%。从轮养形式看,丧偶单亲被 “轮养” 占 70% 多,夫妇被 “轮养” 不足 30%。轮吃轮住方式约占 70%;80 岁以上老年人轮吃不轮住增加,超过 30%;轮住不轮吃只占 10% 多一点,集中于 70 岁以下低龄老年组。“轮养” 周期多为 1 个月至一年之间,其中 1 个月和 1 年这两种 “轮养” 形式超过 60%。从生存资源的掌握上看,“轮养” 老年人有自己产权住房的比例只占 10%,绝大多数 “轮养” 老年人由子女提供生活费用。 被 “轮养” 老年人资源支配能力很弱,是亲代对子代养老具有刚性依赖的表现。


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