crime

Man arrested for killing 85-year-old common-law wife; says he was worn out from looking after her

18 Comments

Police in Tokyo on Thursday arrested a 75-year-old man on suspicion of killing his 85-year-old common-law wife. Police said the suspect, Seigo Arai, has admitted to the charge and quoted him as saying he was worn out from looking after the woman who had Alzheimer's disease.

Police said Arai strangled Hinako Toyama with a necktie around 10 p.m. on Tuesday night on a bench in a park near their home in Kita Ward.

Arai went to a nearby koban (police box) at around 1 a.m. Thursday and told police he had strangled his wife in the park.

The couple lived with their son who is in his 50s. He found a note from his father when he came home at 10 p.m., in which his father said he was exhausted from being a caregiver.

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18 Comments
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DESPERATION. Poor, sad Human. Eventually governments are going to have to view Alzheimer's as a pandemic Human disease and begin offering special assistance to people specifically dealing with this as this poor desperate man has been for longer than he could bear or these stories will cease to appear in the news because they will become so common. And we cannot offer the balm of euthanasia to an uninhabited, miserable, empty body and drowning in desperation family because we cannot trust OURSELVES, HUMANITY, with the loaded gun of euthanasia. What a piece of work is Man... The campaign for Alzheimer's and euthanasia would be simple: Just have an MRI image of a normal Human brain and an MRI image of a brain with mature Alzheimer's side-by-side. That might be just enough for people to begin to understand the profound horror which this Human condition really is for everyone involved. The 'Human' will have left the building long before. It is NOT flesh which makes the 'Human being', as we understand the Chimpanzee to be almost entirely physically us. And, although individuals in their own right, 'Human' they are not. And neither is what this man's task asked of him, the care, feeding, toiletry, and hygiene of a completely helpless, possibly even hostile animal when his own physicality is failing due to its own senescence. So much pain here, these stories always make me cry...

12 ( +13 / -1 )

was worn out from looking after the woman

An incredibly honest answer.

He should have never entered into a relationship or marriage with her. He is tired of taking care of his sick wife? But if the shoe was on the other foot, he would fully expect her to take care of him no matter what. Pure trash of a husband.

-19 ( +3 / -22 )

He should have never entered into a relationship or marriage with her.

Yeah, how could he not have known this would happen 50+ years ago when he married her? The complete and utter lack of foresight is outrageous.

He is tired of taking care of his sick wife? But if the shoe was on the other foot, he would fully expect her to take care of him no matter what.

Right! There is no way that this guy, tired out of caring for his wife to the point that he killed her, could have ever had a perspective on it where he may not want to ever become such a burden upon his wife knowing just how difficult it was. There's no way that such a person in such a position would EVER have such a perspective. Ever.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

No easy answers. Just choices.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If nursing homes were more affordable, I'm sure it wouldn't have had to end like this.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Anyone who's ever known someone who suffered from dementia knows how tough it is to live with or look after them every single day without respite. I feel very sorry for this man, and I certainly wouldn't judge him.

There's obviously a shortfall in services available to help out people like Arai look after his wife at home. Either that, or insufficient places in nursing homes. Or both. That's where most of the blame lies.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

This is a very common scenario in Japan and seems to be getting more frequent. I used to read articles like this a couple of times a month. However, it's getting to be a couple of times a week.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

It amazes me how judgmental most posters are. Shame on you.

Desperate situations can lead to desperate measures.

(How does it feel to be judged?)

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Pure trash of a husband.

Life doesn't always have a fairy tale ending, Jetplane. This man was at his wit's end.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

It's a one way trip to Switzerland, for me. Unless such facilities open up here.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The surname of Arai(新井) talks a lot here in Japan.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Why don't you be a sport and tell us what are you hinting at Mr Hasegawa?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This tragedy is an indictment of a modern dog-eat-dog society when one man must pay such a high price for society's indifference and negligence.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

My father in law is going through this now. He is tired and exhaused from caring for his wife when she was at home and now she is in a nursing home he is lonley. He can't win.

I feel so sorry for people who have to go through this.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The elderly care system in this country is top notch.......

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

On one hand, nursing home is costly but the quality of life leaves a lot to be desired. I would not want to put loved ones there. On the other hand, it's extremely exhausting to be a caregiver, mentally, emotionally, and physically. You just can't win. I come to realize it would be a blessing to die before getting old.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't think anyone ever expects to have to make choices like this. It's the same for when you have a young child dying from cancer. Nobody can prepare you for it. You just have to live day by day and make the only choices you can. I find it surprising that she was that much older than he was. It makes me wonder how long it took them to identify she had Alzheimer's.

My grandmothers sister had Alzheimer's and she tried to move in with her back in 1988 and my Grandmother was in her late 60's as well. She got stabbed by her sister because she didn't even know who she was. Her sister restarted each day not knowing who people were. She would call people the names of people she once knew if she thought they looked close enough. She would have conversations about things that happened a long time ago and then forget what she was doing. They had to lock all the doors because she would try to escape at night and the police would have to find her. They both ended up dying from complications from the acid spill in Texas City. Imagine having Alzheimer's and acid burns in your lungs and not knowing where you are. I only know because I was there. There is no telling how hard it was for this guy. People who have little experience in real world dealings with death and loved ones can't ever relate to this.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Derrick Smith:

Very, very tough situation you describe there, Derrick. As you say the key point is you really do have to come up against it yourself with a family member to understand it, and it's not the sort of thing you would wish on anyone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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