Family of 91-year-old dementia sufferer struck by train ordered to pay JR compensation

TOKYO —

The Nagoya District Court has ruled that the family of a man with dementia who entered a railway line and consequently died after being hit by a train must pay compensation to the Japan Railway (JR) Group. The court concluded that the measures the family put in place to prevent the 91-year-old from wandering off by himself were insufficient.

The family is being ordered to pay damages after delays caused by the accident resulted in a loss of earnings for the company. The presiding judge at the court where the ruling was made on Aug 9, commented that the man wandered outside while his wife had her back turned, concluding that it was her responsibility to keep track of the man’s activities. The judge also suggested that although the man’s eldest son lived apart from the family, he was officially registered as a supervisor of the man and should have put measures in place to prevent this type of accident from occurring.

The elderly man entered onto the tracks at Kyowa Station in Obushi city, Aichi Prefecture in December 2007 where he was hit, and consequently killed, by a Tokaido main line train. The man had been diagnosed as requiring care in February of the same year.

In response to the judge’s ruling, the family contested that it was impossible for the wife, who was 85 at the time, to watch the man around the clock. However, the judge pointed out that if that were the case, the family should have sought outside support, but failed to do so.

Source: Nikkei Shimbun

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  • 16

    sensei258

    D@ng, that's cold-blooded. Next the court will order the elderly wife to get a job to help pay.

  • 12

    ben4short

    Wow, common sense and compassion flipped upside-down by one judge, perhaps demented himself. Unbelievable. What is the family supposed to do, keep the poor old guy chained to his bed? This story should go viral and show the world the real heartlessness of this nation, and the supremacy of profits over all else. Truly disgusting.

  • 4

    danalawton1@yahoo.com

    Family charges Rail Line operator after Father with Alzheimer's wanders onto track and is struck and killed. Now that might be the Headline you would expect to read but Rail Line operator suing / charging the poor dead guy's family. What Japan Railway Group is basically saying is (especially if they win this case) you now have to lock your elderly parents into their room, home and or apartment if you live near train track crossings. So the next time there is a fire at one of these homes, and grandpa or grandma couldn't escape because they were locked in... they can sue Japan National Railway Group.

  • 10

    Matthew Simon

    This country is becoming as bad as America with its stupid courts cases.

  • 1

    CrazyJoe

    A person with no legal legal competency should not be held liable.

  • -4

    bruinfan

    They won't get anything from her I think (which is good)... Having said that, there is no shortage of people over 65 that are not quite there mentally (for a number of reasons).

  • -6

    zurcronium

    Interesting that Japanese law holds the family responsible for the actions of the old dude. As it should be. Not a western perspective but fits with Japanese culture.

  • 5

    Ms. Alexander

    Evil! Just straight evil!

  • 2

    squeeks

    Judging by the "logic" given to this old woman, The Japanese Railway should have built a barrier to prevent something like this from happening. Not everyone is able to watch a sickly person or afford someone to watch over someone. The US is far from perfect, but if something here happens, it truly is the person's fault because all the standards are put into place.

  • 6

    hatsoff

    Well now...by the same token we should all be able to sue JR when its trains are late due to rain and wind - as they consistently are. Why? Because they've had DECADES to take the necessary precautions, like designing the right equipment for the job and putting wind shields up alongside the worst affected tracks.

    Oh but they'll argue that wind and rain is nature. Alzheimer's is...wait a minute!

  • 3

    Mirai Hayashi

    Call me the bad guy, but I am actually torn on this. Although, I think it absolutely ridiculous for JR to sue and demand compensation from an 85 yo. woman, I do agree that she should have done more to secure her husband's safety, and the safety of others. What if the 91 yo man caused this train to derail and killed several people on board?

    I see a lot of socially incompetent people aimlessly roaming the streets and causing trouble from time to time, and I always wonder if their families know that they are outside. People who are not able to interact in society due to severe mental or physical impairment, to the point where they are a danger to themselves of other people need to be monitored constantly.

  • -2

    hammereddownnail

    Family of 91-year-old dementia sufferer struck by train ordered to pay JR compensation

    Wow - unbelievable. JR obviously don't give a sh*t about PR. Or maybe, as in most other situations encountered in life, the average Japanese person simply wouldn't have an opinion upon reading this headline. Shou ga nai!

  • 4

    SunnyMorning

    One thing I never understand with these JR charging suicides and people such as in this article, is... what exactly costs so much? Dealing with delays would be something that JR people would handle, and they would be salaried employees so it doesn't cost more to have them deal with train scheduling. Perhaps they outsource for the cleanup?? ...was what I was thinking. But this article says "a loss of earnings for the company"... do people actually decide not to take the train because it's delayed? Usually we're all sitting on the train and get stuck somewhere. JR doesn't refund our money if we're delayed or anything- it's not pizza delivery. Even if we know trains are running late, we usually have no other method of getting to our destination in a timely manner. And usually we HAVE to get to our destinations (such as for work), so it's not like, "Well, maybe I'll go tomorrow instead." Even if people do decide not to take the train due to delays or stoppages, a high percentage of them are traveling on commuter passes, not individual tickets. So, for those people, who have already paid, there is no change of income for JR.

    I think these charges to the poor people who have suffered (including suicide victims, and especially their families) are just a lot of BS. Trying to deter suicide by making this practice public and putting pressure on suicide contemplators not to inconvenience their families with huge bills? Possibly, but not fair for all the families who have paid so far.

  • -1

    marcelito

    The judge is an ass$&...what was the family supposed to do, chain grandpa up to make sure he doesn't,t walk off? This was an unfortunate accident but for the family to ordered to pay compensation to JR is a bit much...JR certainly doesn't need the cash and its a good guess the family doesn't have it. Wonder If the judge has a family member who suffers from dementia ...bet not.

  • 3

    kimuzukashiiiii

    Right or wrong, I don't know.

    But I DO know there is a serious lack of public assistance for those with dementia, and their families. And I do know we are going to be seeing a lot more cases like these in the future...

  • -1

    hammereddownnail

    I think these charges to the poor people who have suffered (including suicide victims, and especially their families) are just a lot of BS. Trying to deter suicide by making this practice public and putting pressure on suicide contemplators not to inconvenience their families with huge bills?

    I think this is exactly right. They simply don't care if it is horribly unjust. If this approach of ensuring the financial ruin of the family of suicide victims leads to just a few people going and hanging themselves in the woods instead of jumping on the train tracks, then JR will consider it a success. It makes me sick!

  • 2

    hackney

    What's next? Perhaps the families of children killed in accidents being forced to pay for the inconvenience caused to others? Or someone with a heart condition who collapses in the street? This has nothing to do with eastern/western culture. The complete absence of compassion here is not 'a Japanese thing' - it's just wrong in any society.

  • 2

    Disillusioned

    Yeah, the family should have sort outside help cos the government does bugger all, even after paying the pension and health insurance for 50 odd years. The social services for the elderly are apaulling in Japan. It seems this old fellow should have been in a full time aged care facility, but they don't have them here. Only hospitals or ridiculously expensive retiree resorts. So, what this comes down to is, despite paying copious amounts of health insurance and pension over your lifetime, don't get old and don't get sick cos you are on your own and then, you'll have vultures like this rail company blaming you for the failures in the system.

  • 4

    FightingViking

    the family should have sought outside support,

    Good luck with that...

  • 6

    Mirai Hayashi

    @SunnyMorning

    Its two folds. One is to discourage people from using the trains as a means to take their own lives. Its JR's policy to charge the victim's family millions of yen for every minute that the trains are delayed, in the hopes that it will discourage people from causing hardship on their relatives after they commit suicide.

    Second reason is that, it does cost train companies and tax payers A LOT of money in clean up, ambulances, administrative non sense and other fees, not to even mention the loss in revenue . Anytime a train is delayed for any reason, it means revenue loss for the company. Since the trains are stopped, they cannot be boarded or used, hence the company doesn't make money. They actually lose money after a few minutes of delay due to overhead (paying employees and other running costs). Also, the train companies sometimes have to pay compensation to passengers who have to use other means of transportation to get to where the need to go (ie buses other train lines) That's why Japanese train company's have the trains schedules down to science, to optimize maximum revenue.

  • 11

    FightingViking

    Whoever thumbed me down doesn't seem to know that "outside help" in Japan is practically NON-EXISTENT......

  • 1

    Probie

    Can you sue JR for any loss of earnings incurred due to them stopping the train because of a mechanical problem with the train or signal trouble? You could argue that their mechanics were at fault. I don't see how that is different to this. If JR are allowed to do this, everyone who has ever been late because of a train should be able to sue the train operator for any lost earnings, or having to use another train line and having to pay extra than they would have by using their regular train.

  • -1

    paulinusa

    Compensation for suicides, debatable. But in this case JR should have forgiven the family for the money. And even taken to court to force payment ! I hope someone high up will feed the heat for this.

  • 0

    nuju

    It is unfortunate to say this but it will happen if it is not already happening. The modern way of living longer and taking care of ones family is a trait we all share world wide, however there is a japanese tradition (see how one is a trait family bond and so forth and the other is a tradition you can chose to practice at your leisure like Christmas) that if the person is to old and there is no money they should just die they should commit Seppuku or a Doctor should be allowed to commit euthanasia on the family's behalf (whomever is the legal guardian of the sickly person. I believe That you can talk smack about the west America and Europe but I don't see japan lasting into the next century I think they have lost there way both mentally and culturally. They are going to hold onto one tiny part of there history and twist its meaning (just like the Nazis did and the Soviets did) japan will try to become a militaristic nation again and it will fail and they they will slip into obscurity once and for all. That is the path I am seeing Japan heading down

  • -2

    FizzBit

    Either they had a shity lawyer, or the judge is in JR's pocket. I'd even assume JR has been waiting to set a precedent with this judge. Why not just say you're sorry to each other and call it a day!

  • -2

    Mirai Hayashi

    @Probie

    JR, or any train system in Japan for that matter, has ever guaranteed on time arrival. In most countries, its almost expected that the trains are going to be delayed for several minutes. I think that since the trains are so efficient here, people have taking them for granted, when in reality it does take a lot of skill and effort (and almost a culture of time sticklers) to be this efficient. So demanding compensation any time there is a delay or mechanical issues, in an otherwise highly efficient system that you can almost set your watch by, is simply ridiculous.

    @FightingViking

    You CAN get help if you visit the city or ward offices. How good the help is left for debate, but it is available none the less.

    Although I don't agree with JR seeking compensation from an 85 yo woman, in a society where suicide is rampant, and done my using public transportation in an overwhelmingly lot of cases, I don't disagree with JRs compensation policy. Until the Japanese government can do something to help people out of depression, I don't see any other way JR can protect their interests.

  • 1

    wontond

    If JR Rail has any class, it will decline the money.

  • 5

    gaijintraveller

    Dementia sufferer killed by train. Family has to pay JR.

    Idiot on bicycle listening to headphones while texting on smartphone swerves into the path of a car without looking. Driver has to pay family of idiot because a car is bigger than a bicycle.

    This is the logic of Japanese law.

  • 0

    DudeDeuce

    This story should go viral and show the world the real heartlessness of this nation, and the supremacy of profits over all else.

    One judge represents the entire country? I did not know that.

  • 0

    Jack Stern

    The victim's family should appeal and get a better lawyer if that were possible here.

  • 0

    taj

    Is there something very significant left out of the story? Something that could make the ruling make any kind of sense? Had the man been wandering to the tracks frequently throughout recent months and the family took no measures despite neighbors frequently offering help or something?

    Because otherwise the judge is an asshat. And JR is heartless bastards.

    I'd think there's probably something hinting at willful negligence that the writers left out, just to get our blood boiling and the comments flowing.

  • 3

    Mirai Hayashi

    I read another news source about this particular incident, and JT leaves out some details that's pretty important.

    -The woman was ordered to pay 7.2M JPY to JR in compensation

    • JR stated that in a typical case of suicide, the average compensation amount sought by JR averages from 1 to 2M JPY, but it all depends on the serious of damage, the time of day that it happens (peak vs. non-peak), and the how long of a delay it caused.

    -In this particular case, the Tokaido Line was delayed for more than 2 hours during peak rush hour. This effected approximately 27,000 commuters and 34 trains in both directions. If you know anything about Japan, you'd know that the Tokaido line is a very busy line especially during peak hours.

    -JR stated that its not uncommon for the fines and compensation for stopping a train line during peak hours (regardless of whether it was suicide or an accident) to reach upwards of 8M JPY or more.

    -JR stated that the delays were so severe that they had to bring in extra personnel to guide and coordinate passenger to other means of transportation

    .

  • -1

    Gengar

    They called it an accident so why are they suing?

  • -1

    jinjapan

    This is just wrong. That being said, I believe when people commit suicide on train tracks that they're families should be held responsible .

  • 0

    TakahiroDomingo

    there is something totally wrong with this. really sicko, like in an absurd, distorted, dystopic future novel. why not just turn it around, and sue JR for not having dementia-proof safety measures in place?

  • 0

    Mirai Hayashi

    This is just wrong. That being said, I believe when people commit suicide on train tracks that they're families should be held responsible .

    You can't have it both ways. I personally think the woman won't have to pay. This court case is basically to set a precedence. If the judge had ruled the other way, it would give people an excuse to continue to trains as a means to commit suicide. You may argue that this wasn't suicide, but JR had already stated (in another article) that they don't distinguish between delays caused by an accident or by suicide. A delay is a delay, and if it is caused by someone stopping a train by running onto the tracks, then they will seek compensation for loss in revenue.

  • 2

    Nessie

    A person with no legal legal competency should not be held liable.

    They're suing the caretaker, not the dementia sufferer.

  • 2

    Alex Einz

    absolutely right, someone with dementia , should be in constant care 24 hours, if his kid wasnt doing that, he should have put him in care facility and not walking around the town. have you considered the trauma to train driver and time people lost by getting stuck in train?

  • -1

    GW

    folks, these sort od law suits have been going on in Japan since forever there is NOTHING NEW.

    That said I do NOT agree with them but if your here long enough you will have heard families being told to pay for suicides, etc

    If you have extended family in Japan bill collectors may very well show up demanding payment for other relatives debts(but if you haven't co-signed you can tell to F-off!)

    Cases like this are just another illustration of the unfairness your average Tanaka has to deal with throughout life on these isles

  • 1

    gogogo

    Cold Japan, cold, a guy guys and government run company wants to get paid for it. People before profits please!

  • 3

    JA_Cruise

    The judge ovbiously is quite cold hearted and handed down an unrealistic judgement. How exactly the dementia is the reason for his death is not clear here in the story and for all we know, maybe it was suicide. It was a tragic accident in itself and to have to have the family get sued for damages, ridiculous.

  • -1

    Kent Mcgraw

    It is just plain disgusting. The judge needs to be disbarred. But then again Japanese law states that if your relative charges up 50,000,000 yen and dies it is the responsibility of the family members to repay their debt. Silly laws made to protect corporations.

  • -6

    Disillusioned

    Alex Einz - someone with dementia , should be in constant care 24 hours, if his kid wasnt doing that, he should have put him in care facility

    You haven't been in Japan very long, have you? 24 hour aged care is the responsibility of the family. They do not have aged care facilities for the mildly ill seniors. They have hospitals for chronically ill or retiree resorts for the chronically rich, but nothing in between.

    This family should sue for JR failing to provide adequate barriers to stop an old person wondering onto the tracks. They should also sue the driver of the train for failing to stop.

  • -2

    Mirai Hayashi

    Cold Japan, cold, a guy guys and government run company wants to get paid for it. People before profits please!

    JR hasn't been government run since 1987. Its a private company, or owned by several private companies.

    They do not have aged care facilities for the mildly ill seniors. They have hospitals for chronically ill or retiree resorts for the chronically rich, but nothing in between.

    You don't need 24 hour care. You just need to have reasonable provisions that this person doesn't wander away. You can install perimeter alarms that go off if the person is a certain distance away from the house. You can lock the doors with key locks ...or you can hire a part time care taker or put him in a home. The fact of the matter is, if you have a mentally incapacitated person, you NEED to make sure that they safe; its not an entirely impossible thing to do,

  • 1

    gogogo

    Mirai Hayashi: Yes but not 100%, JR is still in part owned by the government:

    JR Kyushu and JR Freight are still owned by Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency, an independent administrative institution of the state.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Railways_Group

  • 3

    missbatten

    I have a friend who is nearly 70, looking after a senile parent aged over 90. The minute my friend turned 65, her "nursing care" taxes were bumped up. Her mother's "nursing care" taxes are even higher, and her medical costs are steadily increasing. My friend is still working full time - she can't afford to retire on her tiny kokumin nenkin pension and pay all these social security taxes on her salary. Like many women, she is not a "sei-shain" so her pay is low and benefits few.

    She applied for help watching her parent, but because she lives with the parent, she is not eligible for more than a once-a-day drop-in helper. So she battles on, already elderly herself, balancing, her own advancing age, work, and the economic and housework burdens of supporting herself and her parent. Is her back turned for 5 minutes now and then? You bet it is!

  • 1

    LiveInTokyo

    I think more people could understand the court's ruling if this were the Japan of 50 years ago, when people had much more close-knit families and looked after each other. But the Japan of 2013 is not the same as the Japan of 1960 (or even earlier times). Culturally, Japan has changed and will never return to what it was. The laws concerning situations such as this , are out of date and need to be revised.

    And it is amazing that the costs and damages will fall on the widow. Obviously I don't know her financial circumstances but if she is one of the "average" people in this country, I imagine she will place under considerable stress herself to pay them.

    The law might have been observed in this case, but fairness and compassion most definitely have not.

  • 9

    Cos

    You tried, but you failed at raising your teen perfectly, he causes a bicycle accident : PAY. You tried, but you failed at keeping grandpa well enough 24/24, he causes a train delay. : PAY. You didn't do the proper maintenance of your nuclear plants for years due to voluntary illegal negligence, your are incompetent at repairing after accidents : PAY DAY for you !!!! You keep charging for your services and you even raise prices, you demand tax money.

  • -1

    Mirai Hayashi

    @missbatten

    Like I mentioned above, no one demanded 24 hour constant care of this individual. In the article I read, JR was suing because the woman didn't take "reasonable" precaution to ensure that her husband didn't wander away. The article didn't site any specifics as to what is considered "reasonable", but I would think if she did stuff like lock the doors or hire someone even part time to look after her husband, or even sought help from city office (regardless of how much or how little help they provide), then JR wouldn't have a case. If she took some of these precautions and he still managed to get out and cause this accident, then she wouldn't be held responsible, because she can prove that she did all that she could do to make sure that her husband didn't run away.

  • -2

    sveinnyves

    I wish the judge will get his karma with his own family then he'll know what its like.

    Its is very unfair to charge the family to repair the loss earning of a big company like JR. WHY? because the family is not a making big money round the clock like the JR so how could JR expect a typical family to have such kind of money??. I know its a loss of money for JR in the several hours but it is also shows its a SELFISH COMPANY who only cares about profit! People are losing loved ones and grieving. the one who should improve measures from people being hit by train is the JR company itself! TRY SETTING UP BARRIERS TO PREVENT PEOPLE FROM FALLING TO THE TRAIN TRACK AT ALL THE STATIONS I CAN ASSURE 100% NO BODY WILL DIE ANYMORE from being hit.

  • -2

    GW

    Folks in case some of you haven't figured it out yet, ITS A DAMNED COLD COUNTRY!

    As I have asked many a times on jt, do you want to grow old in Japan? I sure as hell don't!

  • -3

    mikihouse

    company needs profit, its not a free service. JR employs thousands of people and need to pay them off. It is heartless? maybe not. Its just the law. Do something about it.

  • 1

    chikv

    One important thing is that in the article is mentioned that the judge ruled that "the family should have sought outside support, but failed to do so", that would mean that the family did not seek help even when recognizing that they needed it.

    For me the best solution (of course apart from avoiding the accident) would have been for the family to be able to prove that they sought help from the government to take care of the patient, that way even if no help was obtained then the responsibility would not fall on the family but on whoever failed to provide help (most likely the government).

  • 2

    CraigHicks

    You can install perimeter alarms that go off if the person is a certain distance away from the house.

    This is the only even physically possible solution; however, installation and maintenance may be economically unfeasible. And what if the man won't let his wife lock the device on his body? Seriously, most men would not stand for that without a big fight.

    You can lock the doors with key locks ...

    If it isn't illegal to lock people in a house due to fire and earthquake risk etc, it damn well should be.,

    or you can hire a part time care taker

    With what resources?

    or put him in a home.

    With what resources?

    The fact of the matter is, if you have a mentally incapacitated person, you NEED to make sure that they safe; its not an entirely impossible thing to do

    The fact of the matter is, in order for that to be possible for MOST families would require enormous government support. But the current trend is moving in the opposite direction. Therefore, it is for most families IMPOSSIBLE!

    Furthermore, for families who can afford it with the elders savings, there are other logistic problems: At what point must a person be institutionalized? Traditionally elder males are respected and obeyed until they die. And most men even with dementia know that they DON'T WANT to be locked up, even if they go out for walks and forget where they are going.

    What I could understand is if a persons own personal assets were subject to penalty. But the wife should be able to keep half of any savings they had together. And for the son to be liable, it would have to be proven that he had received assets from his father.

    Not guilty until proven so is a basis of law in Japan as well. Why should this principle be violated by a special law just to punish relatives of people with dementia and suicidal tendencies who cause loss to 3rd parties?

    The logic is obviously "These people MIGHT be guilty (of thoughtlessly using assets for their own purposes rather than for the now dead party)".

    And that IS very heartless, because the vast majority of the relatives are INNOCENT, and on top of that will be grieving.

    To make myself clear: The estate of a person run over by a train may be subject to penalty, but a surviving spouse (or dependents unable to work such as disabled children or hikikomori) should be entitled to enough to live on, , and a "legal guardian" should not become liable for anything other than what they would receive from the estate itself.

    A fixed fine may be levied against an estate (not a family), but priority of payment is required as described above. Kind of like a bankruptcy.

    Such a systems would work as well as the present system for encouraging people not to jump, or to go into a secure home, but would avoid the senseless punishment of innocent people.

  • -1

    kaimycahl

    People its simple at 85 years of age all she has to do is say "I DON'T UNDERSTAND" then JR will leave her alone just thinking she to is suffering from dimentia!

  • 1

    Mirai Hayashi

    @CraigHicks

    Perimeter alarms aren't that expensive. They sell them for pets and small children, so I would think they can be adapted to use on an adult if they don't have adult versions (which I am sure that they do).

    Secondly, you don't have to lock the person in the house 24/7, only times when you cannot actively look after him or have someone else look after him. You would do for him as you would do when you have small children around.

    A part time care taker doesn't have to cost money. You can find volunteers through various programs, or have friends or family members come over, or compensate through other means if necessary. One thing I found about older people in Japan is that a lot of them are very social, and tend to be close to their neighbors or their communities.

    Lastly, like I mentioned several times now, no one needs to hover over the guy 24/7. All she needed to do was go and seek help. She didn't even bother to do that, so that makes her responsible (or more like irresponsible, especially knowing her husband's condition). All she needed to is reach out a little bit and she wouldn't be in this mess. She would simply tell the judge I did everything I could possibly do including asking for help from the city, and he still managed to get out. End of story. Case dismissed.

  • 1

    Alex Einz

    Disillusioned - I have been in Japan probably even longer than you, I suggest you use google sometimes. There are LOTS of care facilities for old people in Japan....

    here is one for you just as a quick example. http://www.mcsg.co.jp/en/vision/index.html

    There is nothing cold hearted about suing the family, it is not JR responsibility to care about people with mental or other issues.It is family and legal guardian responsibility. The guardian should also be criminally prosecuted because there could be also chance of train derailing and people seriously hurt.

  • 1

    Ah_so

    Alex Einz and Disillusioned. I may have been Japan less or more than you, bit I have made plenty of visits to my grandmother-in-law at her ryoujin home and can assure you that plenty of the residents had dementia and received 24hr care.

  • 0

    cramp

    maybe the govt should provide that needed care which they accuse the family of not getting

  • -4

    Magnet

    They didn't care for him enough to prevent their 91 year-old dementia afflicted family member from wandering onto the train tracks so they're making them pay compensation to JR. Sound very fair to me. Good ruling by the court. As a bonus, hopefully this news will teach more families to take better care of their elderly.

  • -3

    ben4short

    @DudeDeuce

    One judge represents the entire country? I did not know that.

    Though it shouldn't have to be pointed out, the heartlessness I referred to in my previous post was directed at JR. So yes, an institution as omnipresent as JR does, in fact, represent the entire country. *Now *do you get it?

  • 1

    Himajin

    Alex, do you have any idea of the price range of that place? I can't find price info on the site, perhaps you get it if you inquire. There are many places, but often you have to sell your home to come up with the deposit. Publicly run nursing homes run the gamut from clean and efficiently run to stinking and neglectful (fewer of those these days, I pray....). I wonder how many good, affordable homes there are?

    Someone spoke of finding volunteers or friends to look after the person with dementia. This may or may not work...some people with dementia develop an attachment to one core caregiver and panic without them, others are violent, and others obsessively wander. While often likened to children, they are like children with a full adult skill set and knowledge of how the world works..you don't have to watch out that your 3-year-old doesn't go out and hitch a ride out to their old home town, or take a Shinkansen somewhere (true stories!) Dementia care isn't all that easy...in addition, with Alzheimer's you could be looking at 10-12 years of care. AD patients typically retain their health even as their minds are destroyed. This causes problems when asking for government assistance--

    "She applied for help watching her parent, but because she lives with the parent, she is not eligible for more than a once-a-day drop-in helper."

    Once a day is great, if it's for a couple of hours, and I bet it wasn't. I wasn't living with my MIL, but we were still turned down for some kind of daily care. I lived an hour away (38km) and was making the trip 5 days a week, and spending 6-7 hours there a day. Having dementia, she couldn't be reasoned with and refused to move near us. The problem is that the Home Helper network is behind the times, and the criteria are purely physical...

    Can they stand on one foot? Can they wash themselves and shampoo their own hair? Can they dress? Can they walk 100 yards? (for example, there is more to the physical test)

    If you can do all this, even though you are paranoid, a flight risk, are eating unhealthy meals when not supervised, think everyone is stealing from you, and your DIL quit work and spends 40 hours a week watching you and drives 300-400 kilometers a week to do it, you're eligible for one 1-hour visit a week. Brilliant. The home helper criteria need to be based on some kind of dementia scale. I hectored them into 2 visits a week eventually.

    After a while MIL moved near us (long story, I won't go into the battle to get her here, and why she wouldn't live WITH us), 100 yards away. By then even though she was taking taxis whenever my back was turned (I do need a shower once in a while) or lighting paper on fire instead of turning down the aircon if cold, washing her face with toothpaste and putting cold cream in her hair, or using a whole box of enemas after locking herself in the bathroom, we were eligible for 2, count them, 2! 1 1/2-hour visits per week, totaling 3 hours. 3 hours of respite, even as she had to be watched from 1 to 3 am, because she'd get up and almost burn the frikkin' house down trying to make tea, and she'd be up for the day again at 6 am, and go till 9 pm, no naps or downtime.

    She is in the end stages of Lewy Body Dementia (re-diagnosed as Parkinson-like symptoms appeared...AD and LB are indistinguishable in the early stages) and we've had to hospitalize her, there is no room in any of the homes in our area that take patients like her; not yet bedridden, but unable to walk, needing pureed food because of aspiration risk, etc. She'd much rather be at home, but without the amount of help I'd need, it's impossible. I can't lift her 20-30 times a day to wash, dress and toilet her.

    This country has to come to terms with the huge number of dementia patients coming over the horizon.

  • -2

    Ron Barnes

    Lets hope this learned Judge Never gets Dementia. I cared for my Father for 5 bad years as it was very difficult to keep him home when I went out. By law you cannot lock the person up in your or their homes or restrain in any way. I suggest the Japer rail is neglect in a very big way and so is their legal system for allowing this to happen. his care should be paid for by the government and the railway also compensation should be paid for his injuries. Would it have been different had it been a child.

  • -1

    DudeDeuce

    Though it shouldn't have to be pointed out, the heartlessness I referred to in my previous post was directed at JR. So yes, an institution as omnipresent as JR does, in fact, represent the entire country. *Now *do you get it?

    Including the little kid that rode by on his bicycle by you 5 minutes ago, the old lady living down the hall from you, and the cashier at the Lawson you stopped by today? They are all apart of this country's heartlessness?

  • 0

    Mike Critchley

    Heartless.

  • -2

    Alex Einz

    Ron, your judgement is clearly influenced by taking care of your dad, and I definitely understand. That said, there is absolutely no reason why his illness should affect the rest of us. It is not cold hearted, but we all already pay the taxes that cover part of our collective medical and welfare . The rest is your direct responsibility as his family.

    Family failure to keep constant if required care should absolutely not affect any of us, imagine the trauma young train conductor will have to be living on or anyone else missing their work, getting chance to be fired or worse case dead or injured if train derails because someone who really honestly past their expiry date is wandering around the train rails or worse sometimes...

    We as a society place way too much effort on keeping people alive,the whole industry is based on that where much earlier those people would pass away naturally and there is nothing wrong with that.

  • -1

    Himajin

    Ron, your judgement is clearly influenced by taking care of your dad,

    Well, yes of course, because experience beats armchair speculation every time. Do it and then tell others how to.

  • 1

    Alex Einz

    Himajin, not sure I understand you

    What about armchair or experience, you should re-read the post .

    If you have to take care of a 90+ old dementia relative - that is your own responsibility legally and financially beyond the minimal government help.

    If that person with dementia causes an accident - it is your responsibility to pay the damages to every affected party.

  • 0

    Himajin

    You said that Ron's judgement was influenced by taking care of his father.

    My point was that it's all very easy to say 'you should/should have done' this or that when you have no experience. It's rather the same as parenting advice from single people....it's based on what they think should be done, as they imagine they should be done, and not actual experience. There are insights and understanding of a situation that you can only get by actually having experience. You obviously do not understand the challenge of caring for an impaired adult.

    I think this was a heartless decision by the court. If they want to say that, then they should vastly improve the available programs for families of dementia patients.

  • 0

    bruinfan

    Not sure if the negatives are because some think the woman should pay up (I don't think she should) or what I said is not true about some people not being mentally challenged (there are many) or other reasons. Just "hit and run" negs. Hoping for some elaboration.

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