These days the aging society is becoming a big problem in Japan. It is difficult for family members to care for elderly people by themselves, and family members need knowledge of nursing. Many elderly people and their families are suffering. A good way to improve the situation is for the government to establish more public nursing homes.
According to The Japan Times May 21 editorial, “Caring for dementia sufferers,” there are about 520,000 elderly people who are waiting to enter public nursing homes [that provide intensive care for the elderly with severe physical conditions or dementia]. Moreover, according to Korei Shakai Hakusho, there were 2,913 elderly people who died solitary deaths in Tokyo in 2010. If they had been in nursing homes, they might not have died alone. However, the cost of entering a nursing home is too expensive for many elderly people.
If the Japanese government financed public nursing homes, elderly people could enter them at a low cost. One solution is for the government to provide money for this purpose with revenue from the consumption tax, which rose from 5 to 8 percent on April 1. The government should use three percentage points worth of tax revenue to make more public nursing homes. If it did that, we would see elderly people smile more.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.