According to the Ministry of the Interior, one out of five single-person households is a senior citizen. Among the 2.87 million people over 65 years old, 43.6 percent are low-income or near-low-income people and live alone.

HouseFun News reports, ten percent of the senior citizens in Taiwan live with their children but are not treated properly due to bad parent-child relationships. This results in pseudo single-person households and shows the support system of families is growing weak.

Zheng Wen-qi, CEO of the Mennonite Social Welfare Foundation, says these senior citizens might have many children and don’t meet the qualifications of low-income people. Therefore they can’t collect subsidy and aren’t properly taken care of.

China Times reports, Lin Yi-ying, CEO of the Hondao Senior Citizen’s Welfare Foundation, says the proportion of senior citizens in Taiwan will increase to 12.22 percent by 2015. This number is estimated to reach up to 20 percent by 2025 and Taiwan will become a super-aging society. By 2060, the old-age dependency ratio will grow to 97.1 percent, meaning 1.2 young adults will have to raise one senior citizen.

According to Lin, the age structure of volunteers is severely imbalanced. Statistics show that volunteers under the age of 35 in both Hondao and Mennonite only take up 4 percent.

Lin analyzes the main reason the younger generation lacks interest in helping elders is three generations rarely live together anymore. Young people even hold negative stereotypes towards the senior citizens. Lin says there is a need for more young volunteers to help solve the vast growing needs of elderly care.

Translated by June
Edited by Olivia Yang