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'Empty nesters' in focus as China marks Seniors' Day

(Xinhua)

08:04, October 24, 2012

SHANGHAI, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- With China's fast economic expansion driving many youngsters away from their hometowns to work in big cities, some Chinese are starting to recognize the physical and psychological toll that their migration has had on their parents.

With no children at home to take care of them, "empty nesters" have become increasingly vulnerable, according to netizens who expressed their worries online on Seniors' Day, a holiday that calls for spending time with one's parents.

Seniors' Day falls on Oct. 23 this year.

A "yellow bracelet" campaign initiated by the China Population Welfare Foundation to help wayward elderly people find their way home has been one of the most discussed topics online.

The foundation posted a message on Sina Weibo, a popular microblogging site, asking netizens to help senior citizens who are spotted wearing yellow rubber bracelets donated by the foundation to make their way back home, as the bracelets indicate that the person in question has memory loss and may need help returning home.

The foundation said it would donate one bracelet for each time the post was forwarded. The post had been forwarded more than 50,000 times as of Tuesday evening.

"Every day we see messages about missing elderly people who cannot find their way home due to memory loss," the post said. "A single click can help an old man make his way home."

Many netizens said they were happy to forward the post, as many of them do not have time to take care of or even visit their parents.

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