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Recently in Japan, there has been a number of cases of people dying in isolation in their homes. What can be done to prevent this?


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Recently? This has been the case for so many years. what can be done? Start "Kizuna Campaign 2012 " through AKB48 or any other popluar celebrity !

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One move toward a solution — encourage people in Japan to develop a stronger sense of empathy, concern for others, selflessness, a nurturing attitude and a willingness to act as caregivers to both children and the elderly.

To start developing in people a sense of concern for others, teens in Japan (boys and girls) should be encouraged to babysit from time to time, and to help elderly relatives.

As it stands, almost no Japanese teens have ever babysat, and they are actively encouraged not to do so. Many (most?) schools prohibit students from engaging in any type of work, or they need to go through the process of getting special permission from the entire full-time faculty of their school to do so. The logic behind this anti part-time job policy is that students should devote as much time as possible to their studies and school-based activities. Anything outside of that is deemed not worthy of their time and effort.

The unintended consequence of such a policy, though, is that people tend to develop a very narcissistic attitude whereby their own success becomes the center of focus. They thereby turn into adults who ignore the trials and tribulations of others. Lack of empathy and self-centeredness in this society is largely to blame for keeping the birthrate low and the number of uncared for elderly high.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

One way is to have the neighborhoods have a welfare check-in type system. If they are newspaper subscribers, the delivery person should report to someone if a newspaper has not been collected.

There is case that I am familiar with where the old lady bonked her head, fell, couldn't get anywhere to get help and died. When her family came by, as they do once a month, they found her. An investigation discovered that she was alive and suffered for days after falling. There was a stack of newspapers, uncollected in front of her door, yet the newspaper delivery guy, nor her neighbors paid attention.

Very sad!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The problem of isolated, mentally ill person in Japan seems to be the difficulty in fitting into social expectations. There has been a tendency in Japanese psychiatry to treat the isolated, mentally ill through overmedication, inpatient treatment, and the extensive use of electroshock treatment as a way of dealing with the patient's difficulty. When you have over 30K suicides for over 12 years in a row, many have not just the physical isolation but mental depression isolation.

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Set up an integrated, government subsidized (or at least properly regulated) system of retirement villages, with different levels of care for the elderly depending on their needs. No old person wants to go to a 老人ホーム because they are depressing - but a retirement village, complete with gym, gateball court, park with trees and other facilities, complimented by various activities such as art/flower arranging/photography workshops and things to keep the elderly mentally and socially active among people in their age group would go a long way to ensure that the elderly can enjoy their final years, rather than stuck at home by themselves for weeks on end until a family member can find the time to visit them.

This probably goes against everything Japanese people think about family duty, but the burden of caring for the elderly needs to be handed to professionals who can provide an adequate level of care. A person working 6 days a week, 12 hours a day, with 2 kids in college and another 10 years left on their mortgage cannot be expected to be able to adequately care for an elderly person, regardless of their blood-relation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One move toward a solution -- encourage people in Japan to develop a stronger sense of empathy, concern for others, selflessness, a nurturing attitude and a willingness to act as caregivers to both children and the elderly.

Might be easier to develop immortality.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Two things -

Instead of all the Hitorigoto that Japanese people do, they should try talking to each other (Obviously, by this I mean not just their friends/family).

I would second Piltdown man's

encourage people in Japan to develop a stronger sense of empathy, concern for others, selflessness, a nurturing attitude and a willingness to act as caregivers to both children and the elderly.

Case in point - Yesterday I was on the bus at the back, and it stopped to let some passengers on. At that moment I got a message on my keitai, so didn't see who got on, but a few moments after the bus had pulled off, it slowed to a halt again, which caused me to look up. I saw a man with a walking stick standing toward the front of the bus, which is bad enough that no-one had offered him a seat. But after stopping, the driver got out of his cab and went over to him (I thought he'd not swiped his Suica properly), but what I saw next quite sickened me... The driver began guiding the man, who, as he turned around, wasn't holding a walking stick - it was a white cane!!! There was a free seat, but NO-ONE had alerted him and helped him to it, and no-one had offered their seat.

Kizuna my Ar*e!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I watched a news program a few weeks ago that I found pretty amazing. I cant recall the name of the city or town in Japan, but the people that live there, mostly the elderly, place a ring/wreath type ornament outside thier front door in the mornings, and then take it down in the evernings. If people walking past the house see, or do not see this ring hanging, they are encouraged to check up on the person living there. I thought that was a brilliant idea. I think they called it a "Genki-wa",

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Regular home visits, meals on wheels, personal alarms - do they have those in Japan?

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A medical alert service like:


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Didn't they have this problem 1 year ago before the earthquake ?

Old people were dying and still collecting government welfare checks ???

Government can hire people to become counselors/welfare people to periodically check for people to see if they are alright.

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