This week's Economist has article about the issues facing China's ageing population. This is the link (I fear it is behind a paywall)
The family has been central to how China has managed its older people and for many this is still the case.
Almost 60% of the 65+ live with their children.
Things are changing. 20% of all single-person households in China are for the 65+.
It would seem that China's government had assumed that families would remain the main source of support - it is having to rethink and fast.
By 2025 nearly 25% of the country's population will be over 60 and by 2050 there are likely to be just 2.5 working-age adults for every person over 65, down from eight today.
The conclusion of the article is that, rather like much of the Western world China is unprepared for what is unfolding. Not enough doctors, specialist accommodation, carers, pensions, welfare etc etc.
This is a sad conclusion to the article. In 2009-11 people over 65 accounted for just under half of all suicides, and more in rural areas: living alone in old age can be harsh anywhere, but in China it may be particularly isolating. Dick Stroud