Support for Older People in Households with Bare Branches in Rural China: Vulnerability, Dilemmas, and Possible Solutions. By: Liu, Huijun; Feng, Zhixin. Journal of Applied Gerontology. Nov2020, Vol. 39 Issue 11, p1213-1220. 8p.

This study explored potential challenges and solutions for the support of older people among households with “bare branches” (unmarried men aged 28 years or older in rural China). Qualitative interviews were conducted in Ankang district of Shaanxi Province with 33 “bare branches” and 18 older parents of “bare branches.” Results showed that support from sons was still the main choice for older parents of “bare branches” in later life, and that most “bare branches” were the primary carers of their older parents. Older unmarried men faced a dilemma between staying at home to provide care to their parents, and migrating to cities to seek economic and marriage opportunities, and this was more common for unmarried men without a married brother. Government support is essential in relieving the challenges in old-age support faced by households with “bare branches”, such as developing social charities, training social workers, and improving social security benefits.