Ageing and aged care in Taiwan
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Ageing and aged care in Taiwan book
Taiwan is the second most densely populated major area in the world, with a total population of 21.7 million in 1998. Its economic transformation in the 1970s has been described as a miracle, transforming Taiwan’s society from a primarily rural and agricultural base to one that is increasingly urban and industrial. The expansion of employment opportunities created unprecedented development in the economy, prompting upheavals in the traditional social structure. The process of modernization resulted in a challenge to traditional social values, at the heart of which was respect to older people. A dramatic increase in the number and proportion of older people in the population has moved Taiwan into an ‘aged phase’. Changes in family structure, increased labour-force participation of women, declining birth and death rates, have all reduced the available resources for taking care of older people at home. Expectations of depending on children for support in old age have also reportedly declined in Taiwan (Thornton et al. 1994). These changes present considerable challenges to meeting the needs of Taiwan’s ageing society as it enters the twenty-first century.