Respecting Elders around the World

What does the term “elder” mean to you? Do you associate that word with an aging person, who needs constant help and may be placed in an assisted living facility? Elder is defined on as a person who is older or higher rank than oneself or an influential member of a tribe of community. Here is how different countries encourage respect for their elders.

Korea - In Korea 60th and 70th birthdays are big elaborate celebrations. Koreans belief that the 60th birthday is when one moves in older age and want to cherish this as an accomplishment for making it to this age. To make it to your 70th birthday is an even bigger accomplishment.

Japan - Japan has a national day celebrating elders. One the 3rd Monday of September every year Japan celebrates “Respect for the Aged Day”. On this day volunteers deliver free lunches to elders and in smaller communities’ children put on a ceremony/show to honour the elders in their community.

China - There was a law passed in China to ensure elders are visited by their children. An Elderly Rights Law mandates the children must visit their parents within a set time limit. Failure to do so may result in a fine or possible jail time.

Scotland - Scotland is reforming how the elderly population is taken care of. They are changing elderly care by deciding to listen more closely to their voice. Accommodations have now been made to allow elderly to stay in their home and have care/help come to their home. This allows the elderly population to maintain their independence for as long as they feel comfortable.