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Home alone: Men especially face harsh times ahead


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Indeed, Japan is in a predicament where it needs to create a social security network that stretches beyond the family as the basic household unit of society.

Whomever wrote this article is asking for the impossible here.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

The problems of men's mental and physical health has only recently (ie the last several years) entered the limelight.

Movember is perhaps the best-known of the movements, and it works globally to publicise and address the many problems men face. It has done a lot of good work in just over a decade.


Since 2011 in the UK, CALM has focused on mental health and suicide prevention in men who suffer with depression, anxiety, and other issues which prevent them living a fulfilling life.


The UK-based Eaton Foundation, founded in 2013 by Jessica Eaton in her father-in-law's name after he died, supports vulnerable members of society who struggle with addiction, homelessness, and mental ill health.


I urge anyone who is struggling to have a look, see if anything in these groups can help you. You don't have to suffer alone or in silence.

What support does Japan offer Japanese men with mental ill health, does anyone know? Off the top of my head, for English speakers, I only know of TELL, which offers counselling and support for men and women living in Japan. Anything else?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The link for TELL


5 ( +8 / -3 )

It is lamentable that many of these people will meet a dark and pitiful end. Whether it be the result of their misfortunes or their own inability to join in a lasting congress with other human beings, they risk becoming a moribund thing, with the passage of each day bringing them little solace save the lonely certainty of an unmourned death.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

After reading this article, I was thinking that a way to curb the living and dying alone might be a sharehouse- like roomates in college. It doesn't have to be either living alone or a retirement home. 2-3 elderly people sharing an apartment could be the answer.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Things wouldn't be so bad if the average Japanese male were able to do some simple household chores such as cooking, washing-up, doing the laundry etc....

12 ( +15 / -3 )

This is the second article on JT looking at isolated men. Women are more likely to be isolated in old age simply by the virtue of living longer.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

". . . he began to show signs of dementia after five or six years living on his own."

Sloppy writing here. Suggests that the living on his own is what brought on dementia.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Jeff Huffman - ". . . he began to show signs of dementia after five or six years living on his own."

Sloppy writing here. Suggests that the living on his own is what brought on dementia

Actually, it's quite true. Many elderly who live alone develop dementia. I remember when my grandfather died, my grandmother was living alone and within 3 months she started to lose the plot and do strange things. We made her come and live with us, where she lived for another 30 years to be 100 years old with no dementia at all. Loneliness is a terrible thing, especially for the elderly who have difficulty getting around. It does bring on dementia like symptoms.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

seeking marriage, but when he tells potential partners his annual salary he is often rejected

Yeah... Still happening in 2018...

That and the fixation on marriage are the main problems in my opinion.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

This seems like a great opportunity for robots.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Japan is turning into one very lonely country. So many men and women are still single with very little family. The government needs to start pushing for group communities outside of the central city areas.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@maria - Inochi No Denwa is the equivalent of TELL for Japanese. いのちの電話

https://www.inochinodenwa.org FIND = Federation of Inochi No Denwa

It is a partner of TELL.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Looking beyond the family for support is important. Build friendships, volunteer, join a club - do things to meet other people. Try to forge connections that hopefully will last a long time.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan needs to model the retirement communities of the US (that's what Ive seen, not of sure about other countries) focusing more on health services rather than golf courses. Building them outside of the city will also create a need for local businesses. Easy peasy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

 Women are more likely to be isolated in old age simply by the virtue of living longer.

Women are much more likely to have networks of friends than men are. Men in Japan seem not to cultivate friendships outside work much, and then when they retire, all their former work 'friends' just fade into the woodwork.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

My own grandparents married in their 20s and had a good 60 year marriage. My grandmother died of cancer at the age of 80. My grandfather was 4 years older than she but as a widower he stopped giving a hang about anything. He had nurses providing home care and such but it was too much. He died of a stroke the following year and joined my grandmother in the afterlife.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Easy fix, build cheap golf courses, surrounded by elderly supported lodges and health care. Throw in a bit of entertainment, and presto, problem fixed!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Some people just want to be left alone and die in peace

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Sharing a kitchen and toilet with a potential slob is not my ideal way to look at old age.

Hobbies and keeping active are the answers in my opinion. And, unless you are a doctor with a handful of statistics, please refrain from telling others how dementia works. (By the way, dementia is not exclusively deterioration of the mind. If affects the whole body and eventually leads to death due to the shutdown of vital organs.)

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I think that no automatic sensoring is going to be solution for the lack of human contact. According to research men's health deteriorate more if they are left singles compared to women. I don't think that this is only because lack of skill performing household chores but more complex issue.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As someone who has to care for a dementia mother, I spend a lot of time outside my hospital and at a care home.

my solution to this problem is to create shopping mall size care homes. Warm, mental stimulation, health services, activities, jobs etc. 5000 resisidents. Something like Aeon Mall.

If anyone has $450 million, I have a plan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Our mansion has 36 units and a microcosm of society in Japan. There are young couples with infants and children, mature couples like us (some who are taking care of older family members), elderly couples, and one elderly man who I'm sure lives by himself. In 6 years of coming and going, I have never seen him with anyone. This article made me think of him.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Reckless - very popular in Tohoku too. Programmes started with some municipal governments back in 1989, though they did not last long (the programmes) due to some protests. Survery showed that 1/3rd of men would consider a foreign bride. Tozawa vilage was probably the most famous, with 35 marriages. Country girls from the Philippines and Korea quickly adjusted to the life-style, but not sure how much of a love-match it is. In return for housekeeping and caring, they get to send a constant flow of money back to their families.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

“He is seeking marriage, but when he tells potential partners his annual salary he is often rejected”

and that’s why many women didn’t marry.

Japanese need to get over this money thing. But this guy needs to keep trying. With all the people living in Japan there has to be one woman who would be with him regardless of his income. Just has to find her.

The fact that he gives up is part of the problem. Same with this whole issue.

If you have no family, start now making friends or advertising and share a place with someone.

One of the most most educated populations in the world but they miss the obvious - make friends , find someone to live with.

If you can’t find a partner, and can’t make friends or share accommodation you probably won’t enjoy being in a retirement home.

in Japan even if you have no money and no family you can enter an aged care facility.

But even if you have family, there’s no guarantee that someone will be around on the day you die.

That’s life.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I look forward to the day when men inquiring about the mental and physical health of other men becomes commonplace instead of really quite rare. We need to take care of each other.

About a month ago I found out a friend of mine committed suicide in the way that I just cannot understand how he forced himself to do it. He had a lot of mental issues and could not get medication that worked. Up until recently he was doing well financially, but that started to turn bad because his mental difficulties meant he could not focus on work. He had a long term girlfriend to support and legal problems due to the passing of his mother several years earlier. Everything just started crashing down.

He lived many hours from me and I would only see him when I visited my father, but I still considered him a friend over the many years I knew him. We had like minded interests in computers, among other things. His mental issues towards the end were quite severe, so much so that I did not think I could help him. I still think about what happened several times a day.

Just want to encourage other men to look around, inquire and offer some social time for those that are clearly becoming very isolated and/or sick.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why gender pacific?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Men are individually accountable here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, one fix would be for two families to arrange the marriage of their children and for them to have children by, lets say 18. The children, parents, and elders stay in the same house or very close by. Then, years later, the elders have a social security plan in place. Keep cycle going and no govt social security will be needed (maybe low income assistance for those working, but still...)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am already on the edge over there, thinking the Golden Age is well over. And you are telling it will get even harder for men? Man. Was Earth such a great idea I inquire...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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