Elderly woman in serious condition after grandson punches her

KYOTO —

A man in Joyo, Kyoto Prefecture, has been arrested for beating his grandmother and leaving her unconscious, police said Thursday.

According to police, Shigeki Kobayashi, 35, is accused of punching his 82-year-old grandmother in the face several times at around 11:30 a.m. on Dec 30 at the home they shared. The elderly woman was left with an acute subdural hematoma. NTV reported that on the evening of Dec 31, the woman still had not regained consciousness, so the man contacted his 63-year-old father who lived nearby.

Police said the woman was taken to a hospital on Jan 1. Hospital staff reportedly noticed bruises consistent with the woman having been punched and contacted the police.

During police questioning, Kobayashi was quoted as saying that he had lost his temper with his grandmother, who was suffering from senile dementia.

Japan Today

  • 12

    kimuzukashiiiii

    I actually, feel horrible for BOTH.

    I know we can never, ever condone violence against the elderly, and she has dementia, however in my work (I work for a Japanese social welfare foundation dealing with the elderly) we are seeing more and more of these kinds of cases. Its only going to get worse in the future.

    This guy, in his mid 30s, has been put in a position where he is the sole permanent carer for an elderly woman with dementia. I assume he also has a full time job while his grandmother attends day-service, probably NO social life, and very little help.

    Like many carers, he is probably overworked, underpaid, and being woken up several times a night by his grandma, needing help to go to the toilet, getting lost in the house ,or fancying a trip to the supermarket.

    Senile dementia patients are not stupid, and often very, very stubborn about feeling they are in the right. In their own minds they are going about their days as normal, and it makes for some very hard arguments.

    It is very, very easy to see why he "just lost it." Inexcusable, however ... understandable.

    Maria - Let me share some information with you.

    The aging population is putting massive, massive strain on such services, and there are just NOT enough people who want to work in the field. The pay and holidays are very low, the hours long, and the job hard. A good happy medium for those with mild-medium level dementia is to try to get support from home help staff alongside day service, however again, there are just not enough home helpers around (although many people have this qualification, they leave soon after realizing how hard it is) and day service centers are absolutely full - there is often a year or 2 year waiting list just for day service.

    If you want to enter residential care, it is done on a means tested basis. Those who have very, very severe dementia will be granted access first (even if there at 10 people able to help at home) and it can be crippling financially for the family. Personal and community nurses ARE available, however again on a needs basis, and as they are community based, you are only REALLY looking at an hour or 2 a week, and they wont help with jobs such as bathing, feeding, and changing adult diapers.

    Im not really looking to blame anyone here. HOWEVER IF I was, i would be looking at this guys extended family. The father lives nearby (I assume other family too) but only went to help after his SON contacted him. The son who beat up his grandma! Noone went of their own accord to help out over new year? No-one brought some osechi for grandma to help ease this guys burden over the new years holiday? He had to call for help, when someone should be checking on his, and grandmas welfare EVERY day.

    This guy has been abandoned by his family without ANY Support to care for his elderly grandma, probably with a cheerful "Yasashi Naaa!" and "Ganbatte" while all his friends are probably leading normal lives, getting married and having children.

    As I said, NOT condoning what happened to this poor old lady, but I feel equally bad for this guy. It was a cry for help, and I sincerely hope that while he is punished appropriately, his grandmother is given the care she desperately needs. And I also hope this guys family feel mightily ashamed of themselves for not giving HIM the help he needed.

  • 6

    Okinawamike

    I understand that taking care of someone with senile dementia is hard, but punching an 82 year woman or man makes you a POS.

    Is she dies, charge him with murder, if she lives, charge him with assault with attempted murder and make sure he never enters her house again.

    No excuse.

  • 6

    Himajin

    you are only REALLY looking at an hour or 2 a week, and they wont help with jobs such as bathing, feeding, and changing adult diapers.

    MIL has dementia, and it seems that the criteria for home helpers is all based on physical ability. She was in mid-stage dementia when we started applying for help but because she could dress herself and wash herself she got 3 hours a week. We moved her near us (she refused to live under the same roof, insisted she was independent) and I went nowhere for about 2 years. I had to do everything during the home helper's 3 hours a week and after that it was all up to me. It's unreasonable.

    Those with dementia lose common sense and inhibitions, and go full steam ahead acting on delusions with an adult's strength. 'We all become like children in the end' isn't anywhere near the truth, they may be childlike in mental reasoning ability, but they are adults with adult attitudes and experience. The stubbornness, sarcasm, physical acting out, and constant accusations and repeating all day long can be maddening. You're basically taking care of a 60-kg 2-year-old.

    I didn't go absolutely batsh*t crazy because I started to order food online etc and began to use the 3 hours a week for me...I went to the gym, saw friends...there were times she was so nasty and abusive that I could have lost my temper, but I went upstairs and sat until I could get a handle on my emotions. She was finally placed about 3 1/2 years ago, but were I still caring for her like I was before, having to watch her like a hawk all day and then get up all night long, I too may have lost it. I have no idea. Maybe I wouldn't have. However, there is WAY too little help out there for families dealing with dementia patients. Yes, it's wrong to hit them, he was wrong to injure his grandmother, absolutely, but it may have been avoidable with help!

    The drug commercials for Aricept etc in the US and the latest Alzheimer commercials in Japan, always show a slightly spacey individual smiling at the doctor or family...very few people know the hell that taking care of someone with dementia can be, and these commercials perpetuate the notion of dementia as just being cheerfully befuddled, when every day is a marathon of keeping two steps ahead, so they don't wash their face with toothpaste, go to the bathroom in the waste paper basket, light stuff on fire with the lighter they clipped from God knows where, put cold cream in their hair, don't take someone else's meds instead of their own, wipe themselves sans toilet paper, and having to duck punches and hair-pulling just to bathe them. While I do not condone beating an elderly person, I do have to say 'Walk a mile in their shoes' and have some pity on this guy, who probably has been completely spent...

  • 4

    hatsoff

    A friend of mine underwent training and passed the first step in becoming a carer for the elderly, including dementia sufferers. Her next step would be to join a care provider and do her On the Job Training. However, as a single woman she found she wouldn't be able to survive on the low salary - and she's not a profligate woman by any means.

    It's a shame these vocational jobs rely so much on people's passion to be of service.

  • 4

    kimuzukashiiiii

    MIL has dementia, and it seems that the criteria for home helpers is all based on physical ability.

    You are right to an extent, Himajin. Sadly, its actually worse off for those with less physical ability but more mental, in terms of home help. Those with less physical ability get less help, because, as you may know, the home help staff are often women in Japan, and as home helpers they are only allowed to assist those under a certain weight. It means the family are often left doing ALL The physical stuff.

    Hats off to you for your help with your MIL - I KNOW its so hard. I don't know if your a woman or a man, but the fact that its your MIL also leads to the assumption you also had a husband or wife around to help you a bit, at least give emotional support? Someone to vent to when it was getting TOO much. (Not that it makes it any easier of course.)

    This guy I assume was bearing the load completely alone - they seemed to be living just the 2 of them by the sounds of it, from this story - which Is why I feel for him.

  • 2

    southsakai

    This guy seriously needs a good hard bashing. I hate to condone violence but it's nut cases like these that have serious issues controlling their anger, and they put their family and people in society as a whole at risk of abuse.

    He's just a plain coward for beating such an elderly defenseless women, especially his own grandmother.

    If he can do this to his own grandmother, imagine what he can do to others. Shocking!

  • 1

    Himajin

    Nessie said-

    Hima, I'm almost certain this is not true. My good friend put her mom in day care and then a nursing home. Acceptance was based at least in part on them mom's mental deterioration. At least that's how it is in my city.

    (posted in the wrong window, Nessie, I'm copying it here)

    I'm talking about home helpers, having someone watch her while I did errands. I was there when they tested her. Some of the questions she passed were-

    Can they dress themselves

    Stand on one foot

    Wash themselves

    Eat by themselves

    in stage 5 AD, she was deemed 'yokaigo 1' qualifying her for minimal help, 2-3 hours a week. There was no mental evaluation. She was with-it enough then to absolutely put her foot down about going to day care. We needed in-home help, and because she could fulfill these basic physical tasks that's what we got, even after we moved her to Kobe. 3 hours a week.

  • 0

    Himajin

    Those with less physical ability get less help, because, as you may know, the home help staff are often women in Japan, and as home helpers they are only allowed to assist those under a certain weight.

    You're kidding....so there is really a very narrow range within which you have to fit to get regular home help. Lord.

  • 0

    Himajin

    Upon reflection, Nessie, I should have said 'mainly' instead of 'all'.

  • 0

    kimuzukashiiiii

    You're kidding....so there is really a very narrow range within which you have to fit to get regular home help. Lord.

    Sadly, yes. Of course its all down to insuring the home helpers. If they lift someone who is too heavy and they injure themselves or the elderly person, it would be a lawsuit. There ARE male home helps who can actually assist with real help, but of course they are very few and far between, and their schedules get eaten up quickly by those who are on the more severe end of needing help.

    Plus the low wages mean that men wishing to enter the elderly care spectrum will often work towards getting a care license, with the aim of becoming care managers in the long run. Home help and regular care home staff salaries are absolutely not enough for a singleton to survive on, let alone support a family, as hatsoff mentioned.

  • 0

    billyshears

    This guy seriously needs a good hard bashing. I hate to condone violence but it's nut cases like these that have serious issues controlling their anger,

    LOL! I guess we'd have to find a nut case that can't control his anger to give Kobayashi a "good hard bashing".

  • 0

    mikihouse

    DudeDeuce in Japan its not free. It cost quite a lot of money. If they don't have the means then its not possible.

  • 0

    Kuri Su

    sympathetic to both sides . but why was the grandmother living with the grandson?

  • 0

    canadianbento

    My wife is Japanese living in Canada and she continues to be dumbfounded at what is taking place in Japan with so many older people being abused.

  • 0

    wontond

    Is the grandmother living with the grandson, or the grandson living with the grandmother?

  • -1

    Maria Ybanez

    I understand that taking care of someone with senile dementia is hard, but instead of looking for support why would I hurt her? Is not her fault at all. I don't know too much about japanese facilities, but what if they had hired a personal nurse? What if they get her in an institution where she could have received personal care and support from other old patients like her?

  • -1

    BurakuminDes

    What a coward. Punching an old lady repeatedly in the face is beneath contempt. I really hope that he gets 20 years in prison and never again sees the poor innocent woman he tortured so much.

  • -1

    Elbuda Mexicano

    It is stupid to try and "take care" of old,senile folk, 30 something being forced?? Not too sure, but it is a bad, bad recipe for disaster. Sounds like way too much stress and sorry, but the Japanese govt. really must try and feel the pain of the average Japanese.

  • -1

    Marco LaGrot

    Does Japan have anyone willing to refund this 35 year old man the pain and suffering he inflicted onto an 82 year old senior,outrageous !!

  • -1

    Fadamor

    charge him with assault with attempted murder

    Good luck with that charge. Unless the guy is a black belt you're going to have a hard time convincing anyone he intended to kill her, ESPECIALLY seeing as he was the one who called for help (albiet six hours later when she didn't wake up).

  • -1

    cramp

    lets hope he ends up inheriting that gene from gramma and becomes senile when he ages

  • -2

    blendover

    My grandfather suffered from senile dementia and was in care. My uncle's family lived nearby and saw him a lot, but my Mother and Father lived elsewhere and only visited once in a while. Anyway, one Christmas I went down to my uncle's place and me and my mother and father trooped out to the care home to see grandfather.

    While we were at the hospital, the orderly who was getting my grandfather ready to go into the dayroom, smacked him in the head right in front of us. We were amazed. I mean, if he's going to do that when we are standing right in front of him, what's he going to do when we're not there?

    Anyway the orderly apologised to us, and my mother and father decided not to complain because they didn't want him to lose his job, but they told my uncle to keep an eye on the situation. Their reasoning was that sure you can get someone fired if you kick up a fuss, but this stuff will keep going on just the same so it's better to manage it.

  • -2

    DudeDeuce

    If you can't take the heat, put her in a senior home.

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