Who should care? Perceptions of caregiving responsibility within the household

Odalia M H WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


As the population continues to age across the world's industrial economies, the question of how to care for the elderly is becoming an increasingly pressing issue. Hong Kong is no exception to this global trend. In fact, Hong Kong's population is set to age even more rapidly than many industrial economies, in part because of its combination of an exceptionally low fertility rate and high longevity, even when compared to countries well known for their population aging issues. For example, in 2008, the life expectancy at birth for Hong Kong was 82, and the fertility rate was 1.0. Corresponding numbers were 78 and 2.1 for the US, 79 and 1.9 for the UK, 81 and 1.9 for Sweden, and 82 and 1.3 for Japan, respectively (Population Reference Bureau 2008). Consequently, a quarter of Hong Kong's population is expected to be aged 65 or above by 2031, while the size of the workforce is projected to shrink as the prime working age population declines (Hong Kong Government 2003). Evidently, the issue of how to care for the elderly is set to become increasingly challenging in the coming years. Since most elderly care is provided within the household, the question naturally arises as to how the increasing burden of elderly care will be handled within the family, and what its impact and implications are (Shanas 1979; Schneider and Wang 1994; Liu and Kendig 2000). One important question is how the increasing caregiving burden will be shared among household members.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDoing Families in Hong Kong
EditorsKwok-bun Chan, Agnes S. Ku, Yin-wah Chu
PublisherEntomological Society of Canada
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9789004175679
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NameSocial Transformations in Chinese Societies
ISSN (Print)1871-2673

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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