Institutional and Cultural Perspectives in Elder Care in Asia

Traditional norms in Asian societies of filial piety, including Japan and Vietnam, emphasize care roles of children upward their elderly parents. Caregiving is often responsibilities of women, who are increasingly migrating and participating in the labor market, leading to an increasing withdrawal of family caregivers from caregiving upward their parents. Though experiencing different stages of reforms and development, Japan and Vietnam share similarities and differentials in care patterns toward their elder population. Japan relies on the public long-term care insurance program in elder care. Japan is changing the balance of care towards home, community-based services, and marketization to provide alternative care options for their elderly population. Vietnam is enhancing institutional care in collaboration with local mass organizations and stakeholders. Community is playing key role in emotional support to the elder. Taking into account the Confucian-influenced traditional family structure, the responsibility for elderly care is still a family matter. Using a dataset from a collaboration survey among 450 elders between the Kumamoto Gakuen University in Japan and the Institute for Family and Gender Studies in Hanoi in 2017, the paper examines and analyzes roles, challenges, and difficulties of family, community, private and public social services, and policy in care provision to the elderly and gaps; to understand the processes of the reconstruction of those formal and informal sectors in order to bear the increasing care responsibilities, and the ways they provide care to elders and the linkages with policies and institutional in Japan and Vietnam, using care diamond model.

Elder care, Policy, Culture, Community, Private and Public

Social and Cultural Perspectives on Aging

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

  • Prof. Tran Thi Minh Thi
    • Ms. Tran Thi Minh Thi is the Vice Director of the Institute for Family and Gender Studies (IFGS), Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS). She also hold the post of faculty member of Department of Sociology, Graduate Academy of Social Sciences. She gained Master degree of Sociology at the University of Washington, US in 2006 and PhD degree of Sociology at Kyoto University, Japan in 2012. Her current research addresses various issues of family, gender, care, health and value changes in comparative perspective. Her current studies on the elderly issues included: “Elderly Care in Transforming Vietnam: Policy and Structural Perspectives”. 2015-2016, funded by Nafosted Vietnam, “Construction of effective network for well-being of the left-behind elderly in rural community through cooperative studies between Ha Tinh and Quang Ngai provinces, Vietnam and Minamata city, Japan”, funded by Toyota Foundation, “Value changes in contemporary Vietnamese families”, funded by Vietnam government. She has writen a book on Divorce in Contemporary Viet Nam: A Socio-economic and structural analysis of divorce in the Red River Delta in 2000s. Social Sciences Publishing House. 2014, edited a chapter title “Divorce prevalence under the forces of individualism and collectivism in ‘shortcut’ modernity in Vietnam” in Atsufumi, Kato (ed). Weaving Women's Spheres in Vietnam: The Agency of Women in Family, Religion and Community. Brill Publishers Asian Studies. The Netherlands. 2015. She is member of the Brill publication project on Care regimes in Transforming Asian countries, in which she has contributed a chapter entitled “Care regimes in Vietnam’.