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To prevent tragedies from recurring, it’s most important for administrative bodies, police, local residents, experts, companies and others to create communities in which dementia sufferers can live wi

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Kumiko Nagata, research director for the Dementia Care Research and Training Center, Tokyo. Takasaki’s Mimamori Center in Gunma Prefecture has started monitoring Alzheimer's patients via a GPS device worn around their necks, so that if they wander off, their location can be pinpointed quickly. (Yomiuri Shimbun)

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Takasaki’s Mimamori Center in Gunma Prefecture has started monitoring Alzheimer’s patients via a GPS device worn around their necks, so that if they wander off, their location can be pinpointed quickly

George Orwell's 1984. Instead of that, how about just sending them to a nationally constructed and funded institute for Alzheimer's free of charge for their families? This tracking device is a smokescreen for future tracking and control of citizens and foreigners alike.

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This is a commendable initiative. My mother had Alzheimer's and she wandered off twice before anyone knew she had gone. It was particularly hard while we had her on a waiting list to go into a facility. We had to hire a caregiver to look after her during the day.

The GPS device is good because at least it allows dementia sufferers to remain home in familiar surroundings where they would rather be.

And Aly Rustom, a little less paranoia please. The GPS device is no smokescreen. The fact is: the number of dementia patients in Japan is skyrocketing, so constructing an institute, as you suggest, would hardly suffice. There would need to be hundreds of institutes, not to mention thousands of staff. The costs would be astronomical.

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I'm looking forward anxiously to today's upper court decision (March 1, 2016) on whether the families of Alzheimer patients are responsible for their actions if they get involved in accidents while wondering out of their homes. The first lower court decision took the side of Japan Railways (JR) and ruled that the family members were negligent when their elderly Alzheimer patient slipped away and enter the railtracks and caused a delay in the rail traffic. I think the families were ordered to pay several million yen by the court.

If today's court decision sides with the lower court decision we will see quite a commotion in the ruling. The question is whether family members are capable of watching over their Alzheimer loved one 24 hours a day if the court rules in JR's favor. Every family situation is different and not every patient can be interred in a facility due to the costs and sometimes the willingness of families to take turns watching and caring for the patient.

I think a countersuit should be made if the court rules that the Alzheimer person, who went onto the tracks through the unlocked gate near his house together with his family is found guilty and responsible. JR should be forced to make their nationwide tracks unaccessible as they do with the uplifted Shinkansen tracks.

In order words JR would be made to regret ever taking the family to court to recover their lost time caused by the accident. My other question is whether families will also be financially liable for suicides of their family members at the train stations that happen almost every day in Japan.

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My other question is whether families will also be financially liable for suicides of their family members at the train stations that happen almost every day in Japan.

A great point. This seems to be exactly what Abe is targeting in his return to mandated family values, bucking the global trend (it seems he has never seen Tokyo Monogatari), and making families even more responsible for their members.

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