What to Do About Grandma
Hal Bohlman, his wife Judy, and their three children live in a small apartment. Hal works in the income tax division of the government where he is a public information officer. Their children are now 12, 10 and 5 years old. Their plan is for Judy to return to work after their youngest child .starts elementary school next year. They hope to save up enough money to buy a house, since they feel their present two bedroom apartment is much too crowded.
Last week, however,Judy's father died suddenly of a heart attack. They now have to decide what to do about Judy's mother,since Judy is the only child. Judy's father was the manager of a store in a large supermarket chain, so her mother will receive a modest but sufficient pension from the company. In addition, he will receive the money from her husband's life insurance and will continue to receive social welfare benefits from the government. In order to avoid inheritance taxes, her husband in his will left his estate to Judy with the provision that his wife would have use of it as long as she lived.
Judy realizes that it would probably be dangerous for her mother to live alone. Although her health is basically good for someone her age, 73, she has bad days when her heart or arthritis acts up. Judy is afraid she might have trouble taking care of herself now that she is alone. She is living in the house that she and her husband owned . a three bedroom house in the suburbs of the same city where Hal and Judy live.
Hal and Judy's mother never got along well in the past . but Hal rcalizes that Judy is worried about her mother.
The huge population of China is indeed a very serious problem.The government has made great efforts to control the birth rate in recent years.'
But the work has encountered strong resistance, especially in rural areas, where both economy and culture are still very backward , resulting in the birthrate rising again.
Many people blame this on the feudal tradition that it was good to have more children to have more working hands. However.
this is only half the story. In the countryside there are no pensions and no free medical care for the aged. Many young couples are afraid that once they are old. there will he nobody to care for them. So they want a son who can tend them all their lives.
If we raise more funds for the elderly in rural areas and build more sanatoriums and other institutions for them, the farmers can put their minds at rest.
The majority of young couples nowadays are well educated even in the poverty-stricken areas. Although the feudal influence is strong, they can understand the importance of family planning. What worries them most is their own old age.
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