China's young adults supporting several generations
14 September 2010 Last updated at 09:17 BST
Governments around the world are struggling with the dual problem of massive debts and populations which are ageing rapidly.
In China, older generations have traditionally been looked after by younger relatives, but with a dwindling birth rate there are fewer young people to care for the elderly.
And while retirement homes are starting to appear, only the wealthy can afford them, leaving many young adults responsible for several generations.
Martin Patience reports from Shanghai.