I actually, feel horrible for BOTH.
I know we can never, ever condone violence against the elderly, and she has dementia, however in my work (I work for a Japanese social welfare foundation dealing with the elderly) we are seeing more and more of these kinds of cases. Its only going to get worse in the future.
This guy, in his mid 30s, has been put in a position where he is the sole permanent carer for an elderly woman with dementia. I assume he also has a full time job while his grandmother attends day-service, probably NO social life, and very little help.
Like many carers, he is probably overworked, underpaid, and being woken up several times a night by his grandma, needing help to go to the toilet, getting lost in the house ,or fancying a trip to the supermarket.
Senile dementia patients are not stupid, and often very, very stubborn about feeling they are in the right. In their own minds they are going about their days as normal, and it makes for some very hard arguments.
It is very, very easy to see why he "just lost it." Inexcusable, however ... understandable.
Maria - Let me share some information with you.
The aging population is putting massive, massive strain on such services, and there are just NOT enough people who want to work in the field. The pay and holidays are very low, the hours long, and the job hard. A good happy medium for those with mild-medium level dementia is to try to get support from home help staff alongside day service, however again, there are just not enough home helpers around (although many people have this qualification, they leave soon after realizing how hard it is) and day service centers are absolutely full - there is often a year or 2 year waiting list just for day service.
If you want to enter residential care, it is done on a means tested basis. Those who have very, very severe dementia will be granted access first (even if there at 10 people able to help at home) and it can be crippling financially for the family. Personal and community nurses ARE available, however again on a needs basis, and as they are community based, you are only REALLY looking at an hour or 2 a week, and they wont help with jobs such as bathing, feeding, and changing adult diapers.
Im not really looking to blame anyone here. HOWEVER IF I was, i would be looking at this guys extended family. The father lives nearby (I assume other family too) but only went to help after his SON contacted him. The son who beat up his grandma! Noone went of their own accord to help out over new year? No-one brought some osechi for grandma to help ease this guys burden over the new years holiday? He had to call for help, when someone should be checking on his, and grandmas welfare EVERY day.
This guy has been abandoned by his family without ANY Support to care for his elderly grandma, probably with a cheerful "Yasashi Naaa!" and "Ganbatte" while all his friends are probably leading normal lives, getting married and having children.
As I said, NOT condoning what happened to this poor old lady, but I feel equally bad for this guy. It was a cry for help, and I sincerely hope that while he is punished appropriately, his grandmother is given the care she desperately needs. And I also hope this guys family feel mightily ashamed of themselves for not giving HIM the help he needed.