Chinese nursing home offers visitor rewards

Think of it as a rewards program, but instead of frequent flier miles or a cup of coffee, it's rewards for visiting a loved one.

Fuxing Nursing home in the city of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China, has started offering rewards to grown children who visit their parents. Children who visit at least 30 times in two months receive 200 yuan (about $27 USD) in coupons and vouchers to spend on goods or services at the home. Those who visit at least 20 times get 100 yuan in credit (about $13.50 USD) and 10 times earn 50 yuan in credit (about $6.75 USD).

Not surprisingly, the nursing home has reported an increase in visitors since the program began in September. More than 90 percent of the nursing home's 512 residents did not receive regular visits from relatives before the program started. Most children visited their parents less than twice a month, and some only visit once a year. Now, more than half the residents are visited often enough to qualify for the rewards. So far, 227 "filial awards" worth more than 30,000 yuan (about $4,000 USD) have been dispersed.  

Guest registers from the first half of the year showed that 337 relatives visited once a month or less while only 38 visited daily. That number has risen to 227 people visiting at least 10 times a month since the program began two months earlier.

The nursing home implemented the reward system following "award filial piety" system not only to reward busy working children but to remind them to visit, said director Wei Mouwen to the Yangtze Evening News. Family members said they started visited more often not because of the money but because were ashamed. In 2013, a law was enacted that said grown-up children must visit their parents or potentially face punishment, though it didn't specify how it would be enforced.

Topics: Activities