Abbott Vietnam Initiates “Parents - Untold Stories” Program

10:34:58 AM | 7/26/2019

In celebration of Vu Lan Festival (also seen as Mother's Day), Abbott has unveiled a short video titled “Parents’ Untold Stories”, which was designed based on survey findings shedding light on parents’ hidden wishes, concerns and motivation.

In the survey, Vietnamese seniors (aged over 50) were asked about their wishes, concerns and untold stories they kept from their children; and their children (aged 25 – 40 years old) were asked whether they were aware of their parents’ untold stories and silent wishes. For the group of seniors, the survey findings found that they secretly wished to pass on Vietnamese traditional values to their children as part of their legacy and they take pride in their children’s success and see it as their utmost important motivation. Their children, who were also surveyed, were overwhelmingly unaware of their parent’s silent wishes and untold stories.

The survey also found that most parents and their caregiver children do not notice early signals of declining in strength and overall health. This discovery encouraged Abbott Vietnam to initiate the “Parents - Untold Stories” program – encouraging children caregivers to spend more time bonding with their parents to understand their untold wishes and concerns in this Vu Lan season and in their daily life.

The secret desire to pass on traditional values to the next generations

The survey revealed that more than half of all aging parents silently want to pass on traditions and experiences they have earned throughout lives to their children and next generations.

As these valuable traditions are fading away, parents can provide valuable life-long knowledge, experience, treasured virtues, and traditional values; and in their golden years, they want to play an active role, passing these virtues and values on to the next generations in a bid to brighten their children’s future, form special bonding among family members, and build a legacy from generation to generation.

Parent’s pride in their children’s success is rarely shown to them

All surveyed parents ranked the success and mature growth of their children as their most important pride and motivation in life. They are proud of how children succeed in life and how children grow up to be a good person in society, but their children – who often become their caregivers – may never know about this secret pride of their parents. Ms. Ho Uyen Thom – mother of professional ballet dancer Do Hai Anh – shared: “Every best thing could still be done better, I don’t want my children to rest on laurels and become arrogant for what they achieved.”

Do Hai Anh was the champion of “So You Think You Can Dance” competition, representing Vietnam in international ballet competitions, but still, she might not know how her mother has silently taught life lesson in expecting her success. Mrs. Thom explains: “My parenting philosophy is giving children fishing rod and let them catch their own fish by themselves. I always hope my girls are grown-up with kind heart and be a hardworking person. Their successes and achievements in life are my prides.”

Health is parent’s top concern but keep untold

The survey reveals that 4 out of 10 senior parents find difficulties in opening up their heart to their children – often creating a misunderstanding between the parent and their child. One of the primary topics parents had trouble opening up about is their health; and according to the survey – parents prefer to keep their health concerns to themselves because they do not want to burden their children. The health concerns parents kept untold covered a broad range including strength limitations, tiredness, and lack of sleep. Seven out of 10 children are unaware or are unable to recognise the early signals of their parent’s health decline until it worsens at later stages.

Mrs. Thanh Mai - 54 years old, mom of singer Phuong Vy Idol, shared: “I used to stay up late at night to prepare performance costumes for my daughter before. But after 50, I’m getting tired easily just by doing housework. This is the secret that I never say to my daughter. I am afraid that if she knows she would not allow me to do anything. She’s so busy with work already, not to mention to worry about me”.

Aging is a shown to be a concern among all elderly parents. Many parents were unaware that adults can naturally lose up to eight percent of muscle every decade starting in their 40s, and after age 70 that rate almost doubles up to 15 per cent1. Being unrecognized and underestimated, muscle loss would lead to many severe damages in physical health. Research has shown that 10% muscle loss can reduce immune ability and increase risk of infection while 20% can cause weaknesses, thinner skin and affect body healing system1. Yet, these problems are foreseeable and can be slowed down or reversed if elderly people aware of muscle loss signs and receive enough support from caregivers for a more enjoyable and fuller life. 

According to Doctor Nguyen Viet Quynh Thu, Specialty II, FV Hospital, “At the age of 50, people’s health is declining as the result of the deterioration of muscles or muscle loss. During this period, regular exercise and proper and balanced nutrition is very important to help slow down the muscle loss process and to keep elderly people mentally and physically healthy. I would recommend elderly people to provide themselves with oral nutrition supplements which include muscle-support nutrients like protein or HMB.”

In contrast, the survey results show that despite being unaware of parents’ health weaknesses, 80% of children reported that they care about their parents’ health conditions and show their willingness to support parents’ in regaining strength with nutrition solutions.

Douglas Kuo, General Manager of Abbott in Vietnam said: “Parents who are passing on values, teaching life lessons on traditional values of Vietnamese people are hidden treasure right at home, and not many caregivers are yet fully aware of this. However, our parents’ time is limited as they are getting older and older.

“By publishing this survey, we wish to close the gaps between generations and encourage caregivers them to connect more with their parents to recognize early signals of health decline and help them regain strength. We are committed to helping people live longer and better through good health – facilitating the creation of long-lasting family bonding moments that matter.”