Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tons going missing in Japan's old dementia epidemic

CHRIS UHLMANN: Okazaki , japan has the world's oldest population. 1/4 of its 127 million people must be aged 65 or over.

Kenzo iPhone 5 Case Red Flowers

Now really facing a dementia epidemic. Nearly 10 million people live with the condition so thousands are going missing from their housing and carers every month. Families the government response to the crisis have been inadequate.

MATTHEW CARNEY: In Japan's second biggest city Osaka, Atsuko Hajihata is frantically looking for their missing grandfather, Akinori Matsuyama. The past several months she's been handing out booklets on street corners and model train stations, asking people to contact their if they see her grandfather.

Raam anand walked out of the family home in Present cards and has not been seen thinking about and Atsuko thinks he has dementia.

ATSUKO HAJIHATA (translated): I feel stressed. I've heard that bodies of the drowned people have been found. But on the other hand he's being looked after by women and men. I still have hope I'll believe him.

MATTHEW CARNEY: Some of the not well-known turn up in mental institutions or perhaps even aged care homes. An undiscovered man has been living in a nurses home in Osaka after presently rescued from a busy highway 4 years ago. He has severe dementia and know his name or where he originate from. And there is no information that can help understand him.

He's carer asks that person if can remember anything but the man cannot reply.

Tragically many of the missing are located dead. Kenzo iPhone 5S Case Yoshizawa left her home while his wife was indeed preparing dinner. She wrote call him by his name and address on his shoes in addition Kenzo left in his scandals. A number of weeks later he was found stiff shoulder manipulation to death beside a sea just 500 metres from her home. His wife believed he'd return.

Kenzo iPhone 5 case YOSHIZAWA'S WIFE (translated): I have regret and feel sorry i always wasn't able to find him.

MATTHEW CARNEY: It's hard to get exact figures showing how many people with dementia go not well-known but police estimates for 2012 include about 10, 000. Experts suppose it's much more and the problem is primarily just going to get worse.

Kumiko Nagata occurs at one of Tokyo's oldest so biggest aged care facilities.

KUMIKO NAGATA (translated): In Japan women and men over 65 exceed 25 % so the number of people missing with dementia will increase rapidly. And these days antique people aren't living with their families, they can live alone or as older couples where both might have dementia so they don't realise if anyone goes missing.

MATTHEW CARNEY: Theres a network for missing person in addition only about 10 per cent of locally governments are using it. Most need new system with much greater collaboration between police and government agencies.

Meantime communities are taking matters into their individual hands. On the outskirts of Tokyo the volunteer group Missing Young woman Search has been set up. Hiroshi Tahara who runs the organisation must have been a police officer for 25 years.

HIROSHI TAHARA (translated): Police don't actively investigation and only get involved if there has been a unique death.

MATTHEW CARNEY: Families need practical measures put in place like SYSTÈME GPS devices in shoes so women and men living with dementia can be easily used.

This is Matthew Carney reporting designed for AM.