What to Do About Grandma
Hal Bohlman, his wife Judy, and their three children
live in a small apartment. Hal works in the income tax division of the
government where he is a public information officer. Their children are
now 12, 10 and 5 years old. Their plan is for Judy to return to work after
their youngest child .starts elementary school next year. They hope to
save up enough money to buy a house, since they feel their present two
bedroom apartment is much too crowded.
Last week, however,Judy's father died suddenly of a
heart attack. They now have to decide what to do about Judy's mother,since
Judy is the only child. Judy's father was the manager of a store in a
large supermarket chain, so her mother will receive a modest but
sufficient pension from the company. In addition, he will receive the
money from her husband's life insurance and will continue to receive
social welfare benefits from the government. In order to avoid inheritance
taxes, her husband in his will left his estate to Judy with the provision
that his wife would have use of it as long as she lived.
Judy realizes that it would probably be dangerous for
her mother to live alone. Although her health is basically good for
someone her age, 73, she has bad days when her heart or arthritis acts up.
Judy is afraid she might have trouble taking care of herself now that she
is alone. She is living in the house that she and her husband owned . a
three bedroom house in the suburbs of the same city where Hal and Judy
Hal and Judy's mother never got along well in the past
. but Hal rcalizes that Judy is worried about her mother.
The huge population of China is indeed a very serious
problem.The government has made great efforts to control the birth rate in
But the work has encountered strong resistance,
especially in rural areas, where both economy and culture are still very
backward , resulting in the birthrate rising again.
Many people blame this on the feudal tradition that it
was good to have more children to have more working hands. However.
this is only half the story. In the countryside there are no pensions and
no free medical care for the aged. Many young couples are afraid that once
they are old. there will he nobody to care for them. So they want a son
who can tend them all their lives.
If we raise more funds for the elderly in rural areas
and build more sanatoriums and other institutions for them, the farmers
can put their minds at rest.
The majority of young couples nowadays are well
educated even in the poverty-stricken areas. Although the feudal influence
is strong, they can understand the importance of family planning. What
worries them most is their own old age.
Marny Suicides Reported on Respect For Aged Day
Tragic suicides by aged persons were reported from
across the country Monday when the nation celebrated Respect for the Aged
Day, a national holiday.
In the city of. . . , a 76-year-old woman was found to
have hanged herself in her room at about 2 a. m. , her grandson reported
The woman,... , had been suffering from tuberculosis
and the hardening of the arteries in addition to,the loss of eyesight, the
grandson told police.
In the city of. . . , a neighbor visited a 78-year-old man's home at 9 a.
m. to find that he had gassed himself. The man,. .. , had lived alone on
pension sice 1961 when his wife died.
In. . . , a farmer reported to police that his
68-year-old wife hanged herself in a shed Monday afternoon.
The woman, Mrs... , was worried about her frail health
and had often talked of loneliness in old age, according to the husband.
A person fishing in the sea off the city of. . . found
the body of an aged woman drifting at 10. 20 a. m. Monday.
Police later identified the body as that of... , 92,
of... , who had been missing since Friday.
Her family members believed that she was overwhelmed by
pessimism because she was unable to receive pension from the city office
due to some flaw in her papers on Wednesday.
A 66-year-old woman hanged herself in a room in her
house in.... while her daughter-in-law was in anothei room. The
daughter-in-law, Mrs... , told police that her mother-in-law,... , had
been almost bed-ridden since 1973.