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In Japan's elderly-care homes, coronavirus tests limits of overstretched staff

By Elaine Lies

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© Thomson Reuters 2020.

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"About 28% of Japanese are over 65.

About 6.7 million Japanese need care and roughly 1 million of them are in homes.

About 60 of Japan's 624 coronavirus-related deaths as of May 10 were in care homes."


-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Many homes have suspended group games and exercises because of the outbreak, and most have banned family since early March. That can take both a mental and physical toll on residents.

Some care homes in Europe have built "meeting cubicles", where the elderly can meet their family members, with a plexiglass in between them to protect both parties from the virus. If this was at all a possibility in care homes in Japan too, I hope they would be built. Or even, 'meetings' through a window. This would offer the elderly a chance to see their relatives (and vice versa), upkeep their mental health and possibly relieve some of the stress put on the staff members.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Vinke - that is a very nice idea (what they have done in Europe). I agree this could relieve stress on staff also as you say.

I knew someone who worked at a care home and it is such an honorable and difficult job and often the staff is underpaid for the responsibility they are taking on. And now - under these conditions - what a difficult job the staff has.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The same situation in UK care homes - it seems that they have become the front line of the fight against the virus. I'm wondering how many countries have the same situation.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Elderly care homes deserve the community's full support especially at a time like this. Thankyou for posting this story JT but it's not getting a lot of coverage on TV. I watched some of the newsy wide shows today and they were more interested in 10-15 minute stories on face mask fashion and cool background settings and what to wear when using Zoom and other facetime apps.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japan needs a complete sea change to allow families to live together.

The family unit needs to be strengthened to take pressure off social services.

The number of patients of advanced years is over 60% in hospitals and growing.

In care homes 100%

The Japanese system is not in danger of collapsing-it has already collapsed.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Caregivers deserve more pay and definitely more respect. The thing about being elderly is we all will get there unless death takes us first.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

One of the hardest jobs, and one of the most undervalued and underpaid.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They definitely deserve a raise in pay and to be treated with respect and honor.

Right now worldwide all caregivers, hospital workers, doctors, nurses are overstretched! Overworked! Mentally and physically exhausted! This is not a Japan only problem.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Assuming everything said here story and comments is true and I interpret correctly.

Vaccinating them with a trial vaccine is less cruel.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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