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Overcoming Self Neglect

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he problem of self-neglect is growing in Japan as the number of seniors in the country rises, but efforts are underway to combat the problem.Ordinary people confronted with unexpected difficulties can sometimes fall into a pattern of self-neglect. The trigger could be illness, job loss, or a death in the family. The home falls into disarray and some people become unconcerned about hygiene, turning inward and refusing help.Last November in the city of Gifu in central Japan, the bodies of 3 people were found in a home. They were a husband and wife in their 70s and their son, who was in his 40s. The parents had died 2 months earlier. Their son had been dead for about a week when the bodies were discovered.It's thought they died of illness or starvation, and it could be a case of self-neglect. The 73-year-old father was a retiree and his son was a recluse. A few years earlier, the father had begun showing signs of dementia and the family stopped interacting with neighbors.“Hardly anyone in the area knew what their life was like. I didn’t,” one neighbor says.The regional support center had received reports that the family was in need of help, and had visited their home several times to encourage them to make use of homecare services. But official only managed to speak to the family twice, and since they refused the offer no further action was taken."In order to access services, individuals have to sign an application, so it’s hard to proceed if they say they don’t need help," says a staff member with the local homecare service.Individuals struggling with self-neglect often refuse support even as their circumstances deteriorate. One woman in her 60s has experienced self-neglect. She spent many years caring for her father, who had dementia. Her social life gradually dried. Her father died 10 years ago and around the same time she developed diabetes and her eyesight began to fade. She became reluctant to go outside.

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nhk nhk world nhk world newsline newsline japan asia japan news asia news News Japan Asia World Biz Tech NHK Japan Broadcasting Corporation Public Broadcaster NHKWORLD NHK WORLD PREMIUM NHK WORLD TV Radio Japan
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