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中国“养儿防老”的方法走进加拿大养老系统(观点、中英对照)
Opinion: Canada's growing senior care crisis to revive old Chinese tradition of family care


几十年前,当我刚刚结婚不久,我妈就劝我快点要孩子,并警告我说如果没有孩子,老了将没人管。 我当时对她的建议不屑一顾,认为在当今时代,养儿防老这一指望孩子给老人提供保障的中国古老传统早已经不切实际并过时了。 随着经济和社会的发展,曾经根深蒂固的中国传统已逐渐失去了其价值和力量,渐渐被淘汰。 但令人惊讶的是,随着婴儿潮一代迅速老龄化所造成的严重的护理人员短缺,养儿防老这一古老陈旧的中国观念在却西方国家找到了市场。

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My mom urged me to have children when I just got married decades ago, stressing the critical role offspring will play in my old age. I brushed her off her advice, believing that in the modern day and age, the ancient Chinese tradition of counting on children's support to ensure elders' wellbeing was impractical and outdated. As economies grow and society evolves, the once profoundly ingrained Chinese tradition has gradually lost its value and power and become obsolete. Surprisingly, the old Chinese concept has emerged recently in the Western world, amid severe caregiver shortages caused by a rapidly aging baby boomer generation.

养儿防老,集谷防饥。 这一古老传统源于宋代陈元良的《事林广记》,当时中国古代人民在贫困和战争中挣扎求生,毫无社会保障和养老基础设施。 这一依靠家庭赡养老人的传统影响了中国几千年,直到剧烈的社会和经济变革重塑了中国养老格局。 独生子女政策和医疗保健系统的改善使中国老年人逐渐抛弃家庭养老模式而更依赖社会提供的养老护理系统。 随着中国不断采用西方更先进的养老体系,大量养老院和长期护理设施在大城市建成运行,使传统的依靠子女养老方式无力生存并日渐被人遗忘。



Raising children prevents poverty in seniors and accumulating grain to avoid hunger. The tradition came from Chen Yuanliang's Shi Lin Guang Ji in Song Dynasty, when ancient Chinese people struggled in poverty and war and social security and senior care infrastructure were non-existent. The tradition of relying on family support for the elderly has influenced China for thousands of years until the drastic social and economic changes reshaped the Chinese senior care landscape. The one-child per family policy and the improvement in the healthcare system have seen older Chinese increasingly counting on out-of-home care rather than support from the blood-bonded families. A massive number of nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been up and running in large cities as China strives to adopt the more advanced senior care system in the West, rendering the traditional way of family support forgotten and lost.

然而,在中国以家庭为中心的养老模式越来越被现代护理系统所取代之际,西方的老年护理体系正面临着日益严重的危机。 快速老龄化的人口使临时护理资源紧张,造成长期护理和疗养院床位紧张。 医护人员的严重短缺和入住等待时间等待过长迫使许多生病的老人被困在家,不得不依赖家庭成员,主要是他们的成年子女提供养老护理。



However, when the family-focused senior care model in China has increasingly given away to modern methods of care, the geriatric care system in the West is facing a growing crisis. A rapidly aging population has strained the resources, creating difficulties for access to long-term care and nursing homes. A severe shortage of healthcare staff and a long wait list for spots in facilities have forced many ailing elderly to stay home, relying on the caregiving services provided by family members – mostly their adult children.

弗格森女士是西蒙弗雷泽大学的系主任,她在承担工作和日常生活之间的压力之余,还担负起着照顾她年迈父母的角色。她的77 岁的父亲和 76 岁的母亲患有从糖尿病到早期阿尔茨海默氏症等一系列慢性病。 弗格森与父母同住北温哥华的家中,履行着从洗衣烧饭到健康护理等各种职责照顾着年迈,体弱多病的父母,帮助他们度过晚年。



Ms. Ferguson, a department director at Simon Fraser University, had taken the caregiver role for her senior parents suffering a slew of chronicle illnesses – from diabetes to early-stage Alzheimer's while juggling the competing demand of work and daily life. Sharing a North Vancouver home with her parents – – a 77-year-old father and 76-year-old mother, Ferguson looked after her elderly parents' daily necessities, physical, and medical wellbeing, carrying out various duties to help her senior parents– from nursing to housekeeping.

最新的 StatsCan 数据显示,近 50% 的加拿大人在其一生中的某个阶段曾担任过照顾年迈和患病的家庭成员的工作,其中许多人已经照顾了家庭成员长达四年以上。 加拿大政府越来越认识到家庭护理在老年人生活中的作用,将更多的财政和培训资源分配给与患病和年迈的家庭成员一起生活的护理者。 Fertuson 女士只是这一庞大的加拿大“亲人护理”大军中的一员,他们越来越多地承担起家庭医疗和护理的负担,使中国的养儿防老的传统日渐走进加拿大的老年护理系统。



The latest StatsCan data has revealed that nearly 50 percent of Canadians have taken the caregiver job for an aging and ill family member at some point in their life, with many having nursed a loved one for over four years. The Canadian government has increasingly recognized the role of family caregivers in the lives of seniors, allocating more financial and training resources to caregivers living with sick and aging family members. Ms. Fertuson was just part of this vast army of Canadians who increasingly bear the burden of medical and nursing care in the home, underscoring a growing trend that revives the outdated Chinese traditional way of senior care.

但快速增长的老年人口和婴儿潮一代的低生育率日益威胁着这种家庭护理模式的生存,让未来迈入耄耋之年的老人难以获得他们曾为上一代提供的家庭护理。 在加拿大日益严重的老年人危机中,我重拾了母亲关于要孩子的建议,并把它传给我刚成年的子女。



But the rapidly growing elderly population and the low fertility rate of the baby boomer generation have left this family care model increasingly precarious, rendering the future elderly increasingly difficult to access the family care they have provided to their previous generation. Amid the growing senior crisis in Canada, I've retrieved my mother's advice on having children and suggested my young adult children to become parents.



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