Richer Elderly People Contact Their Children and Grandchildren More Often

  • By Lee Ki-hun

    July 07, 2018 08:23

    Income levels determine how often senior citizens contact and meet their children and grandchildren, a study by the Ministry of Health and Welfare suggests. The higher the income, the more frequently such interactions took place.

    According to the study, 38 percent of people over 65 met more than once a week with their children who live apart from them -- 9.5 percent almost daily, 10.1 percent two or three times a week and 18.3 percent once a week.

    Some 37 percent met their children once or twice a month and 17.2 percent once or twice every three months, while 5.8 percent receive visits from them once or twice a year and 2.1 percent never.

    The study showed that 34.6 percent of senior citizens in the bottom 20 percent of the income bracket met their children more than once a week, but 40.1 percent in the top 20 percent of the wage bracket.

    Among those in the top 20 percent, only 5.7 percent met their children only once or twice a year or never, compared to 14 percent in the bottom income bracket.

    The pattern remained the same when it comes to contacting and meeting grandchildren. Among senior citizens in the bottom 20 percent, only nine percent met their grandchildren at least once a week, but the figure rose to 21.2 percent in the top 20 percent.

    By contrast, the proportion of those who receive rare visits from their grandchildren -- once or twice a year or never -- was 54.3 percent in the bottom income bracket compared to 27.7 percent in the top bracket.

    Chung Kyung-hee at the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, who led the study, said, "Financial factors play a role in all areas of social interaction, including family ties. The lower the income levels of senior citizens, the more reluctant they are to shoulder financial burdens."

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