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80-year-old woman with dementia killed by train after wandering onto tracks

26 Comments

An 80-year-old woman suffering from dementia died after being hit by a train in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Tuesday.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 5:20 a.m. on the tracks between Kamakura and Kita-Kamakura stations on the JR Yokosuka Line. Fuji TV reported that the woman had walked along the tracks for about 100 meters from the nearest crossing when she was hit by the train. She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Police said the woman lived in Kamakura. Her husband said that when he got up on Tuesday morning, his wife was not at home. He contacted police and told them that his wife suffered from dementia and that she had gone wandering off before.

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26 Comments

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RIP. I hope they do not arrest the husband, as the woman has wandered off before.

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Next we are going to be hearing stories about the elderly-leashes, like the one's that were once a hit with parents with toddlers.

There is little to prevent accidents like this from happening when you live in a free society.

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RIP - Fact is, right now they ARE going after the husband. They are most likely going to try to make him pay for the delay in service. It is sad, when money is involved, kindness and understanding goes out the window. I feel so sorry for the poor confused woman. That is not the way to go. I do wish the rich train companies would try to make more of an effort to protect people from going on to the tracks.

RIP poor lady.

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It's a terrible way to go, but for anyone facing more years in this kind of purgatory, death may be better. Scientific research needs to double down and find a prevention or cure ASAP, before society is overwhelmed by their numbers.

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Dementia is a huge problem in Japan and there is very little support for the sufferers. Nearly one-third of the elderly are suffering from it. Expecting elderly spouses and families to be full time carers is absurd and will always lead to accidents like this. Most sufferers do not have the means to pay for private care companies leaving them with no option than to become full time carers. However, they are not trained in how to deal with dementia sufferers, which requires very specific treatment and around the clock monitoring.

Although there is little scientific evidence to support it, dementia in later life is linked to poor sleeping habits when they were young, especially before 25 years old. Most young people in Japan only sleep 3-6 hours every night during their schooling years. This leads to a break down in the part of the brain controlling memories, the hippocampus. It is extremely important for young people to get regular sleep. This is when their brain is growing. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for dementia because the damage is already done! The key is prevention. The lifestyle of young Japanese needs to be changed to include adequate time for 8+ hours of sleep every night. It's the only way to avoid dementia in later life. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that sorts your memories. It decides which memories to keep and which to throw away, which is why you can remember something you did when you were 4 years old, but you can't remember what you ate for lunch yesterday. However, the hippocampus only works in deep REM sleep, which can take 6-8 hours to achieve. Some scientists also believe the hippocampus is the part of the brain that creates dreams. It gives other parts of the brain something to do while it cleans out the rest. The hippocampus is also why people who have head trauma in the front of their head lose their memory. I'm sure everybody is aware that after a few days of 3-6 hours sleep you have trouble remembering anything. This is why! Imagine the damage done to a child's developing brain if they are only getting 3-6 hours sleep every night for the first 20 years of their life. Your brain is like a PC hard drive. What happens to your PC when the hard drive is full? It slows down and eventually just dies. This is what happens to dementia sufferers.

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Kindness and understanding? The husband was in charge of taking care of her, if he is unable to do so - he should have placed her in care facility. Luckily only she got killed, imagine if the train would derail or any kind of accident with multiple injuries? Yes, they should sue the husband and the kids and make it a criminal offence .

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not all can afford to place in care facility, since there are so many cases in japan, there is not enough facility for that just like child care facility as well. it cost at least $6,000 + monthly in USA, insurance is not covering it unless you used up all your saving then can apply help from government.

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so what? if you werent smart enough to save up retirement cash, make sure she is unable to leave the house... it is still husbands fault.

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Alex- Mr Heart aren't you?

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What if he was tired of caring for her, and allowed or even encouraged her to take a walk on/near the tracks?

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@Alex Einz - Kindness and understanding? The husband was in charge of taking care of her, if he is unable to do so - he should have placed her in care facility. Luckily only she got killed, imagine if the train would derail or any kind of accident with multiple injuries? Yes, they should sue the husband and the kids and make it a criminal offence .

So, here is a man who will die alone and broke. You obviously have no idea about the level of care needed for dementia sufferers or the expense involved. In you master plan for saving money for your retirement have you included upwards of $5,000 per month for full time aged care? If so, I'm surprised you have time to comment on this thread. You should be working your butt off to get enough money to support your lonely self.

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DisillusionedAPR. 05, 2017 - 10:26AM JST

Dementia is a huge problem in Japan and there is very little support for the sufferers. Nearly one-third of the elderly are suffering from it.

Nearly one third? Where did you get that number? The latest statistics by Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare is 15.0% among Japanese people 65 years old or older.

http://www8.cao.go.jp/kourei/whitepaper/w-2016/html/gaiyou/s1_2_3.html

According to wikipedia, the ratio goes up as one gets old. The ratio among the people between 85 and 89 is about 50% around the world. So, the ratio among the "elderly" is a reflection of the average age of the "elderly".

Also, haven't you heard of kaigo hoken?

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Dissillusioned , I absolutely love it when mentally challenged people try to make personal conclusions about people they dont know, followed by baseless "self concluded" information..., maybe you should research before talking ? or just read the post above this since CH3CHO provided you with info. oh and dont worry about me dying alone...my life has been and is a plenty excitement, last thing I would want is to wait it out ,with mental disability while being a society burden.

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Dissillusioned , I well done on personal insults to people they dont know, followed by baseless "self concluded" information..., maybe you should research before talking ? or just read the post above this since CH3CHO provided you with info. oh and dont worry about me dying alone...my life has been and is a plenty excitement, last thing I would want is to wait it out ,with mental disability while being a society burden

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@YUBARU - Where did you get that number? The latest statistics by Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare is 15.0% among Japanese people 65 years old or older.

I got that number from a hospital administrator who deals specifically with the aged. Why would you believe anything from a Japanese government agency? Would you believe it is safe to live in Iwaki, Fukushima? Don't believe any statistics created by Japanese government agencies. They are all fudged to protect the truth.

Oh, and kaigo hoken does not cover 24 hour nursing care for dementia sufferers. Look it up yourself.

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@Alex - You words are as cold as ice. You know not what you speak of. It is not as simple as saving your money, losing your mind and then getting placed in a nursing home when you have dementia. There is a long, long line of people, and people who have spouses are are not the first priority at all. Let me reiterate that. A LONG WAITING LIST!. Which translates to a long time to wait. When someone has dementia, one person alone can not take care of them 24 hours a day. It took three of my wife's uncles and aunts to take care of my wife's grandmother, 24/7, buddy! So, research before you speak.

with mental disability while being a society burden

Such a comment like this is sickening. I am so happy you will not be taking care of me. I wish your parents a lot of luck. They will surely need it. These people are not burdens to society and you should be ashamed of yourself for even thinking such a thing. Rarely if I have ever witnessed such coldness in this magazine this before.

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Mum in the UK wondered off when dad was not looking, managed to get the door lock open, and her security bracelet did not go off. Found by some young kids a few miles away 2 hours later. 24-hour observation and monitoring by carers can be a huge burden, often the carers need more care than the patients. On her first night in a care home, she broke the door lock trying to get out too!

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Frankly, I feel the burden of responsibility rests with the rich train companies who pack their customers into their products tighter than sardines in a can to pay for better security systems that protects the mentally disabled or others from just entering on to the tracks and getting run over. They surely make more than enough money to do more than putting up those cheap, flimsy plastic bars and not putting up barriers on the platforms to protect the public.

imagine if the train would derail or any kind of accident with multiple injuries? Yes, they should sue the husband and the kids and make it a criminal offence .

@ - Alex - First of all, a 45~ 55 kilogram old woman standing in front of a on coming train has no possibility of derailing a train carry thousands of people weighing hundreds of tons, unless she is Hancock. It's not going to happen. But thank you for making my point there. Is it not irresponsible of these rich train companies to NOT provide more protection for its passengers and the public so that one of it money making machines does not derail and kill thousands? You bet it is. It is THEIR dangerous product. Not ours. And that is the criminal offense that is allowed to happen every single day because you have a complacent public that has grown up with the hazard and does not even recognize that it is wrong. I am thankful to see though that more and more train companies are putting up barriers on platforms to prevent people from jumping or falling in front of the train.

I stopped riding the trains a long time ago. I go by motorcycle or car now. I don't want to give the greedy train companies one yen of my hard earned money until they stop suing the families of jumpers or people with mental issues and provide a safe environment to all.

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sandiegoluv , not sure what is your point? you contradict yourself by saying that 1. these people require constant care by multiple family members 2. insurance doesnt cover it all 3.train companies should invest money by rising the ticket price obviously ( you do know that it costs huge money to build train tracks? or do you think these appear from thin air? ) How exactly all of these are not a burden on a society? I would understand if we talked about disabled people , but dementia is uncurable and people are basically at plant level once it fully sets in..

You also say that its somehow train company responsibility to prevent jumpers? Do you also in favor of suing office building and car owners cause people use those to suicide too?

oh and btw... derailing a train doesnt require immediate impact... imagine a driver trying to do emergency full speed stop , or a car stuck on crossing because a person with dementia trying to drive around?

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@ Alex, n to sure what confuses you. Nor did I contradict myself even once. Anyway,

Yes, they require constant care by multiple family members. That shows you just how hard it is. MULTIPLE. The husband was ONE guy. Frankly, it can't be done. She needed to be placed in a facility but if you have any experience in the subject you would, as I stated yesterday, know that easy at all. I will say again, there is a long, long, long waiting list and those with spouses or others living with them are not the first priority.

No, to my knowledge Kaito Hoken does not cover it. The bottom basement price for nursing homes 200,000 yen a month. That is a lot of money for pensioners and in most cases their full monthly pension payments. So in a lot of cases it is just too expensive.

JR and other companies are rolling in the money. And a few of them have been taking precautions to protect their customers on the platforms. Sotetsu is one of the only train lines that I would ever consider riding. Over the past few years they have spent the money to raise the trains off off the street and this has made it safer for all and has stopped disrupting traffic as well. I have not heard of them raising the prices any more than normal. They are behaving responsibly as far as I am concerned. JR, not so much. I live on the Yokosuka line. They make no efforts at all to, but don't mind packing people in. Also, it seems to me that if the Shinkansen, which runs over a larger area can protect the public by preventing easy access, then so can the other train lines. It is not that easy to get in front of the Shinkansen, is it? Nope. Why? Because they understood that a stopped car on the train tracks could be disastrous. That should be how all train lines are run.

( you do know that it costs huge money to build train tracks? or do you think these appear from thin air? )

Seriously, I thought money grew on trees. Um, of course I know that. But these companies are filthy rich, especially JR.

How exactly all of these are not a burden on a society?

Not sure what your point is. That is the point I was making. These trains the way they are run are a burden on society. The train platforms and crossings are unsafe and disrupt traffic way too much.

You also say that its somehow train company responsibility to prevent jumpers? Do you also in favor of suing office building and car owners cause people use those to suicide too?

Yes, it is their responsibility to make sure that their product is safe and not used for jumpers or people who fall onto their tracks. However office buildings are not tons and tons of metal flying down the tracks only a few feet from us. The office buildings are not a danger to innocent people. I do believe there have been cases of people jumping from office buildings, landing on people, seriously injuring them and those buildings were held financially responsible, as they should be. And drivers are held responsible for people who do jump out in front of their cars in Japan. You must drive at a speed that allows you to stop in case of people suddenly appearing on the road in front of your car. Are you new here? This magazine is full of people being arrested for hitting people who suddenly appear in front of them because they didn't stop in time.

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you seem to have some prejudice against train companies? rolling in money? Have you heard about personal responsibility? Why is that that people believe anyone except themselves is responsible ?

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Can't refute so you go with that? Okay, fine. Yeah, I am prejudiced against the train companies, for the exact reason that you stated; Responsibility. People are having to take responsibility, not the train companies. It is not the people who are providing a danger to society, it is the train companies who are, yes, rolling, rolling in the money. That is wrong. Accidents happen all the time but they do nothing to prevent them.

Fact is, the train tracks should be just as inaccessible as the Shinkansen is to us. They are slowly building doors to prevent people from jumping or accidentally falling on to the tracks in Tokyo and that is how it should be.

Public safety should be job one! There should be no accidents like these or other ones. They should have to take responsibility.

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All the words you wrote, come down to exactly one subject - train companies are at fault, which is something you seem to have a fixation on. I choose to ignore that because it is absolutely irrelevant and nothing more than a personal fixation, so there is nothing at all to refute since there is not a one valid argument you bring up. My point of view is family first is absolutely responsible for their demented siblings., not the society and its entirely selfish to even try and shame the society into putting more than the current effort ( extra old people taxation ,increased social premiums and so on ) into something that amounts to pretty much near bed care for terminal patients with the only difference that these terminal patients are let to row the streets while lacking coherent judgment or memory.

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If people with dementia were functional - they wouldn't need care , would they? They have no situational awareness or coherence and the disease rapidly develops so its hard to pinpoint the exact stage without constant medical care. You are the only one talking nonsense here. I come from a doctor family and have also come in direct contact with quite a few dementia patients. I am bored with you though because you have no factual data about any of the points you bring up.

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Dude, what do you think? These people asked for it? And what is this about "shaming society into putting more than the current effort into it?" How can you be so cold? Nobody is shaming anyone. We have these problems because of people just like you who do not understand that constant care is needed for these people and that is not going to happen if there is only one person there to take care of them.

These people do get out from the confines of their homes.They are not LET OUT. They GET OUT and that is because the system is overflowing and the waiting list is very long.

I am a personal witness to this situation. It took THREE adults to take constant care of one old lady with dementia, my wife's grandmother. It is not as easy as you wish it to be.

As for your desire to cut the train companies a break even though they provide a dangerous service at times, sure why not? Just go with the flow. Never questioning anything. If that works for you, so be it. LOL

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@Alex - Because you chose to ignore the problem, does not mean it does not exist. Because I choose to notice that a problem exists, does not mean that it is irrelevant either. It is a clear and present danger that needs to be rectified and if I were wrong, then why are some train stations putting up doors now? If they can protect their product (Shinkansen) then they can protect people who use their trains regularly, the elderly or child that wanders onto the tracks. Both of which have happened right around the corner from my house.

Valid argument? I have brought up many. Because you choose to ignore them, once again, does not make it so.

You are acting like people with dementia are evil people or people who asked for it. And what is this about "shaming society into putting more than the current effort into it?" Obviously there is not enough effort involved because if there were, this would not have happened and there would not be a long waiting list either. Nobody is shaming anyone. Facts are facts and those are facts, you can check them out yourself. We have these problems because people do not understand that constant care is needed for these people and that is not going to happen if there is only one person there to take care of them.

People with dementia are not LET OUT. They GET OUT because it is impossible for one person to take care of them 24/7. The system is overflowing and the waiting list is very long.

I am a personal witness to this situation. It took THREE adults to take constant care of one old lady with dementia, my wife's grandmother. It is not as easy as you think.

I am gonna bet that you think that old guy should have to be a lot of money for this? Right? He has already lost his wife because the system didn't give him the support he needed, but you would feel good about him being hit twice for this, right?

Moderator: Sorry, you are just going around in circles and bickering with another reader. Please post no further messages on this thread, since you both said you were bored with each other anyway.

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