Old men running out of control
There has been an upsurge in violent incidents by old men. In January 2022, a man aged 66 years who was upset over the death of his mother shot a doctor who had been engaged in community medical and health care and injured two other health workers. The old man’s mother was one of the doctor’s patients. With his mother’s death, the man had no family to share his feelings and misdirected his anger and frustration at the doctor and health workers.
“This case is not an exception” is a common view among homecare service workers. Homecare services offered to patients include making a diagnosis, nursing care, dental care, and hair styling. They visit patients even under the threat of COVID-19 infection. Most of these patients ought to be grateful to caretakers, but some have different views.
According to a 2018 survey by All Japan Attendant Service Association, 45% of visiting nurses experienced physical violence, 52% experienced psychological abuse, and 48% were sexually harassed.[Editor1] Nurses are obliged to bear the situation in homes where no other person is observant, considering the fact that the patients’ family must be having a hard time as well.
Furthermore, we witnessed scenes where old men were angry or shouting at the clerk at the station or public service offices. In fact, the number of arrests of men aged 65–69 and 70 years and above increased by 4.7 and 10.8 times, respectively, in the last 10 years. The recidivism rate among men aged 65–69 years is about 50%. Men aged 70 years old or more tend be the first offenders and their recidivism rate is 34.4%.
Medically, men’s frontal lobe’s function deteriorates with aging, and they become unable to control emotions. Socially, old people have pride because of their varied experience. Even after 65 years old, they are still active and are able to continue working within the society. In view of this, the government should prepare more workplaces for senior citizens so that they can feel more confident and useful for the society. Senior citizens themselves need to acknowledge their capacity and limit, communicate more effectively with other people, train themselves to maintain good eating habits, and ensure continued learning.
More efforts are required to ensure that the older generation contribute their quota to a sound society.
Posted on February 10, 2022