Visitor numbers soar after Suzhou nursing home offers cash incentives to children who visit parents

A nursing home started a scheme offering cash incentives for children who visit their parents there.
A nursing home started a scheme offering cash incentives for children who visit their parents there.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

SUZHOU - A nursing home in Suzhou in China's Jiangsu province has seen a boom in visitorship, after it started a scheme offering cash incentives to children who visit their parents there.

The rewards increase with the number of visits, according to the South China Morning Post.

Children who visit at least 10 times in two months get 50 yuan (S$10) to spend on goods or services at the home, followed by 100 yuan for at least 20 visits, and 200 yuan for at least 30 visits.

Nurses have been recording and keeping track of each resident's visitors since the scheme started in September, South China Morning Post reported.

The home has at least 500 residents. Less than 10 per cent of them had regular visits before the scheme began, with most children dropping by less than twice monthly, and some only annually.

However, now over half the residents are visited frequently enough to qualify for the incentives. Family members said they are dropping by not due to the money, but from the shame of not having taken care of their parents before.

Staff said that the health of the residents, who average over 80 years old, has improved with the introduction of the scheme.

The nursing home's managers expressed a concern that more elderly people will be left in such homes, as the country's population ages.