Man, 22, in China taking care of his mom, 43, with severe disability for last 12 years

An exemplary model of filial piety.

Brenda Khoo | September 12, 2023, 10:56 AM



A young man in China has been taking care of his mother with severe disability for 12 years.

Yang Zhiyang, 22, from Shaanxi, China, has been caring for his mother since 2011, Xinhua News reported on Sep. 2.

'Filial piety moves heaven'

In the video, Yang could be seen attending to his mother's rehabilitation and daily needs, such as eating, drying her hair, brushing her teeth, and doing simple physiotherapy exercises.

He even helped her to put on makeup, and took his mother out of their home to shop and eat, despite facing obstacles.

Although his mother seemed to be struggling physically in her daily activities, she smiled at her son.

The video has been circulating on multiple social media platforms, and has garnered a total of 1.39 million views on Weibo as of Sep. 11.

According to Xinhua News, Yang's mother Su Ping has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

ALS is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes muscle atrophy and affects voluntary muscle movement.

Father working

Yang told Sky Post that his father is working hard to earn money, so Yang has been taking care of his 43-year-old mother over the past 12 years.

Since his graduation from college three years ago, he has been taking care of her on a full-time basis.

He also told Sky Post that he has been filming himself taking care of his ailing mother since 2021 to help more people understand ALS better and find a cure for it.

Earlier in February 2023, Yang won the "Daily Positive Energy Special Award" and a cash bonus of 5,000 yuan (S$933) from Alibaba Charity.

Many people were touched by Yang's exemplary conduct of filial piety.

Commenters on Weibo praised Yang, saying, "Filial piety moves heaven."

Another commenter said, "Thanks to love and support, the mother still looks happy."

You can view the video here.

Should one child be solely responsible for caring for parents?

Yang's predicament highlights a growing concern among a rising number of young Chinese individuals who find themselves solely responsible for caring for their aging parents as a result of the country's previous one-child policy.

With an increasingly ageing population in China, the ratio of elderly to young is quickly growing.

Around 30 per cent of the population is expected to be aged 60 years and older by 2035.

China's one-child policy was implemented nationwide by the Chinese government from 1980 to 2016.

Since 2016, China updated its one-child policy to two-child policy.

Couples are now allowed to have three children since 2021 in a more radical policy shift.

To reverse the effects of the one-child policy, China's government has been implementing measures to encourage more Chinese couples to marry and have children.

For example, Changshan county is offering a "cash reward" of 1,000 yuan (S$185) to Chinese couples getting married if the bride is 25 years or younger.

The reward also includes childcare, fertility, and education subsidies for couples who bear children after marriage.

However, despite the measures, the birth rate in China has not risen to any significant level.

On Aug. 15, 2022, Reuters reported that China's birth rate has been estimated to have dropped to a record low of 1.09.

Top image from Weibo.