‘The persistence of parent repayment’ and the anticipation of filial obligations of care in two Thai provinces

Wiraporn Pothisiri, Chulalongkorn University
Stuart A. Basten, University of Oxford
Raya Muttarak, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)

With an accelerated and sustained decline in fertility and an increase in life expectancy, Thailand has entered its ageing phase at a rapid pace. This raises an important question of who should care for the increasing elderly population. Using the survey of adults aged 16 – 64 years (n=742) in two Thai provinces in the north-east (Kalasin) and south (PhangNga), this paper explores expectations individuals have from their children when they turn very old. Only one-third of the respondents expect to live with their children in old age and only one-fifth anticipate financial assistance. Less than half of them expect personal care and practical care from their children (43% and 38% respectively). The expectations vary substantially by the number of children and income with those with higher income reporting lower expectation. Those living in Kalasin, a much poorer province than PhangNga, have greater expectations from their children in old age. This suggests that for those with less financial resources, children remain the main care provider for the elderly.

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Presented in Poster Session 1