Major Chinese Media Cover Penn Eldercare Project and Anthem (VIDEO)

January 6, 2017

The University of Pennsylvania’s five-year research and service project on eldercare in China, launched this year by Fox Leadership International (FLI) in partnership with Penn Nursing Science, is receiving attention from both government leaders and public media throughout China for a summit forum held in September and an “eldercare anthem” written to publicize the initiative.

Click here to see a video of FLI’s September conference and hear the eldercare anthem.

Click here to see a music video of the full eldercare anthem.

With an elderly population that will be about as large as the entire U.S. population by mid-century, China—a nation with deep traditions of filial piety and respect for the elderly—faces an eldercare crisis of epic proportions. The challenges include the inverted age pyramid wrought by the now-defunct one-child policy, an acute shortage of nurses and other medical personnel, millions of elderly without adequate health insurance, and few residential or non-residential institutional eldercare options between the traditional family home and the nursing home.

One of the goals of the program is to promote greater awareness of the facts about China's eldercare needs in both China and America. The first U.S.-China Eldercare Summit Forum, an FLI-sponsored conference held in September at the Penn Wharton China Center in Beijing, brought together the largest group of top government, business, medical, academic and other experts ever assembled on the issue. That event and an FLI-sponsored trip to China this fall have received wide and prestigious media coverage in China, including pieces in China Daily, CCTV, Xinhua, and Youku.

FLI has also created an “eldercare anthem,” written in Mandarin, composed, and performed by Penn alumnus Danny DiIulio, C’15. “Always Take Care of You” reaffirms the traditional filial commitment in Chinese culture. The music video is being circulated in the nation's 40,000 eldercare colleges and by the super-ministry of over 32 agencies that are responsible for the issue in China.

“I met with the top official at China’s national commission on aging in October, and he continues to sing our praises, along with our Tsinghua University and Peking University partners,” says John DiIulio, Jr., Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion, and Civil Society and director of the Fox Leadership Program. “The eldercare anthem and our initiative are continuing to get media attention, spreading the word across China.”

This spring, DiIulio is teaching a new graduate-level political science seminar, Global Leadership and Problem-Solving: The Eldercare Crisis in China and the U.S. Led by a multi-disciplinary team of co-instructors and joined by current or former government officials, health care experts, and other leaders from both nations, students will compare and contrast the eldercare crisis in America and China, conduct research, learn the basics of policy analysis and program evaluation, and do supervised field visits to eldercare facilities.

Click here to see a list of all Mandarin- and English-language coverage of the eldercare program in China.