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As the number of older people increases, multigenerational households are in steep decline.The tradition of family members taking care of older relatives in countries such as China has waned – suggesting that traditional values may no longer be enough to support the requirements of an older population.Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and China are rapidly urbanising and confronting the same issues as us.Consider this brief extract from an article in the Jakarta Post: Is this the Asian example Hunt wants us to emulate?Many people in later life can no longer rely on their children to care for them, nor do they have the funds to pay someone else to do so.The Asian example is associated with an agrarian economy, where family is close by.Tory politicians spent the weekend telling us that we should be more like the Chinese.Fresh from his recent visit, a starry-eyed George Osborne praised China while dismissing Britain as defeatist and second-rate.
While Hunt’s speech was being reported on the BBC, a graphic flashed up showing the levels of loneliness across Europe.
Nevertheless, this traditional typology of North–South divide is limited because it fails to include Eastern European nations.
Our results strongly suggest the , that report the highest percentages of frequent loneliness.
The nations in which the highest levels of loneliness were reported were all former Soviet states, including Ukraine, Russia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Latvia.
Against this background, then, the UK doesn’t look too bad.