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City tags dementia sufferers with barcodes

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© 2016 AFP

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Well nice to see some proactive folks are thinking and doing something about the situation. At first I thought, damn, the potential for problems, and discrimination, but these elderly with dementia do need help.

Last month, Japanese police started offering noodle discounts at local restaurants to elderly citizens who agreed to hand in their driving licences.

NO, that is only in ONE location as of now. Please get it accurate, that was in Aichi! THe writer makes it sound like it's ALL Japan. It isn't, and down here we treat the elderly better than just a bowl of noodles with a 90円 discount!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Aichi-kun so proud of those discounted noodles, but otherwise a smart move from the city. Having an accessible for officials system with codified citizens with impairments is a way to keep them safe and, if anything happens, to send them back home in less time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Is it just me or does anyone else have a problem with barcoding human beings? For whatever reason..

Japan is grappling with a rapidly ageing population with senior citizens expected to make up a whopping 40% of the population around 2060.

BS its going to be waaaay sooner that 2060.

The offer followed a series of deadly accidents involving elderly drivers—a growing problem in a country where 4.8 million people aged 75 or older hold a licence.

That's a scary statistic

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Beats ear tags.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yes, Aly, I have a concern about it. I am not saying it is necessarily a bad thing. Dementia is a terrible and growing problem. But it throws up some questions. Who gets to decide whether this is needed? What are the criteria? And I am curious as to whether this bar code would be proof of identity for voting, for example.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Just one step closer, soon everyone will have to get one on their right hand or their forehead

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Beats ear tags.

Or, GPS anklets like home prisoners where.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Is it just me or does anyone else have a problem with barcoding human beings? For whatever reason..

Historically, it does have a rather negative poor image. But at least they aren't tattooing them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As soon as I read the headline I knew this would be a controversial topic. But then I was thinking, if you have a family member who has dementia and they keep wandering off, what else can you do? But I still have lots of questions about the technology. How do you access the barcode, can anybody with a barcode reader scan it and find out who they are. Will this lead to more bank scams etc. Lots of questions to be asked

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For dementia cases this isn't a bad idea. But I can't see it for anybody else.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I, for one, welcome our barcoding, laser wand reading overlords. Remember everyone, you have nothing to fear if you have done nothing wrong. PI! move along citizen PI! move along citizen PI!.......

And everyone, let's not bother talking about a slippery slope, we have been on the silly slide for years now. We have the MY NUMBER system, and to keep from discriminating against people with dementia and to maintain their privacy, everyone will have to do this barcode thing. And really, someone with dementia might lose a card or bracelet, so tattoos will be necessary. Don't worry about it. You have nothing to fear if you have done nothing wrong.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Yes, Aly, I have a concern about it. I am not saying it is necessarily a bad thing. Dementia is a terrible and growing problem. But it throws up some questions. Who gets to decide whether this is needed? What are the criteria? And I am curious as to whether this bar code would be proof of identity for voting, for example.

I have no problem with them barcoding demented people, as long as its ONLY them.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The fact is that some people with dementia do wander off and can't remember where they live, what their name is etc. so this does seem like a good way to help reduce such cases even if it is tag.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Come up with something better, then.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why barcodes? Why not register the fingerprints of dementia sufferers and give police scanning apps on their mobiles?

Also, a barcode is only useful after the missing dementia sufferer has been found. It doesn't help if they're freezing to death in an alley somewhere. What they really need is some kind of wearable GPS/WiFi device that can signal their whereabouts or alert carers if a patient leaves a specified area.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Great idea. I assume it's on a voluntary basis so naysayers no need to be worried. Could work for kids too btw.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why barcodes? Why not register the fingerprints of dementia sufferers and give police scanning apps on their mobiles?

I for one would be very wary of giving the fingerprints to the cops. There are privacy issues at stake here as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why barcodes? Why not register the fingerprints of dementia sufferers and give police scanning apps on their mobiles?

Good question, Alan. Fingerprint everyone. That way non-Japanese entering and in the country can feel more at home. You're right that a bar code won't help those who wander off until they are found. Neither will fingerprints. Then what? Bar codes with beacons? And how long before those are applied to pets and children and philandering spouses and, and, and...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's a great idea for only dementia, sex crime and stalkers with gps capacities.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why not tattoo the barcode at diagnosis?! After all they're not getting better and a once only deal to label them like a criminal or some sort of 'Untermensch' has to be cheaper and more convenient right?

Dementia sufferers are human beings who are ill and require treatment. That they wander off is an indication that they aren't getting the treatment and support they need. This is partularly true in Japan where there isn't enough provision for dementia care and families can't cope.

Have some respect! This is a conversation about people who have contributed. Doesn't matter how young you are today, this is coming your way. Ask yourself if you want to be labelled "Demented" as one particularly ignorant contributor above calls it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

With recognition systems on the rise, bar codes will be old school in ten years. But at least with bar codes, less bad lighting to deal with. The true bane of civilization.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i support bar codes for pets, old folks and toddlers who all may wander off.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think that putting a bar code on someones finger nail is not intrusive or invasive but quite sensible, but microchipping which entails a small capsule to be injected just underneath the skin is perhaps a step to far, we have it in the UK for pets like dogs and cats, so when said animal is taken into a vet they know who,where and the owner is from. how far do you go? we must protect the senior persons dignity, yes they might have dementia but they are still humans at the end of the day.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They could easily be tagged with a wrist band and located using GPS. No need for barcodes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, most people already carry gps technology. So why not skip the second step (technology attached to the body), and go straight to final phase and just make mandatory gps implantable chips‥…… why were at it, lets just remove cash from society and put it on the chip.

That should help protect our seniors!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That they wander off is an indication that they aren't getting the treatment and support they need.

Not always. Pacing and wandering are symptoms, there's no way to stop them. Many in the mid stages are obsessed with getting out of the house, and all it takes is their caregiver taking a shower or a bathroom break.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why barcodes? Why not register the fingerprints of dementia sufferers and give police scanning apps on their mobiles?

I guess the idea is simplicity. No central databases or registration required. The barcode itself can obtain enough information to identify the person (contact number in the case of 1D barcode, more for 2D barcodes). It's a bit like a name tag.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

From what I understand, all it contains is the name of the person, where their local city hall is, and a contact number to that city hall. This prevents any identity theft. It just gives you their name and city. One would then contact the city for their residence and contact numbers. Easier for police or hospitals to do than someone just trying to get more info on someone. Also, anyone with a smart phone can check the code this way as opposed to prints. Dementia subject walks into your shop confused? You scan their code and contact their city hall. City hall contacts family and police. Police take subject home. Once more people who need this start using them, people in general will know what to look for. It's similar to how many people will write a dementia subjects name and address on their clothing, but this gives more privacy and safety. Plus, going through city halls leaves a 'paper trail'. If someone with dementia wanders off frequently and is brought home using this, it can alert social services to check up on their situation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Himajin, I'm aware of the symptoms. My point is that marking dementia sufferers is dehumanising, but more importantly the tag is a bandaid to treat to treat a deep wound. The urge to get out or even escape comes from stress. When stressed, sufferers can sometimes be talked down or distracted but it requires constant care that family members are untrained and unable to provide. The plight of people with profound dementia not in full time care is parlous.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Great idea

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The urge to get out or even escape comes from stress.

Stress caused by not recognizing the home they live in, and trying to 'go home', or find their parents. I disagree that they wander because, as you stated above, they are not getting the care they need. They continue to try to escape even after placement in a facilities with abundant help 24 hours a day, which is why they have lockdown wards for the ones with the strongest desire to escape, or are violent. The symptoms of stress are not the fault of the caregivers, but are internally generated by the disease...inability to recognize a spouse, child, or in-law at their present age, looking for their long-dead parents, trying to fine their childhood homes, and other motivators.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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