記事掲載のお知らせ（「ロイター通信 WORLD NEWS」5月12日）
2020年5月12日、ロイター通信 WORLD NEWSに、医療法人社団悠翔会理事長・診療部長の佐々木淳の取材記事が掲載されました。
“The caregiver industry is barely hanging on as it is, and with even only one person off, then it just won’t be possible to care for everybody,” said Jun Sasaki, a doctor and the head of Yushokai Medical Corporation, a care provider company. “The elderly are very delicate, and any kind of change in their environment can affect them.”
In January, the number of care jobs per applicant was 3.95. The law mandates 1 carer to 3 residents - though the Health Ministry said in February that since shortfalls due to the virus could be expected, facilities could temporarily “respond flexibly.”
About 60 of Japan’s 624 coronavirus-related deaths as of May 10 were in care homes, public broadcaster NHK said.
About 6.7 million Japanese need care and roughly 1 million of them are in homes, according to government data. That compares with 1.2 million in the United States, which has more than twice the population. The United States is also younger, with only 16% over 65.
Many homes have suspended group games and exercises because of the outbreak, and most have banned family since early March. That can take both a mental and physical toll on residents.
One man wandered his care home, searching for his family, Sasaki said. Another woman became convinced her daughter had died and began preparing for her funeral, Yoshimu recalled.
Workers must self-quarantine for two weeks if they or family members have a fever, and wear masks while working, which can frighten some residents. Japan does little testing relative to other developed countries, and there is no plan to test all care workers, the Health Ministry said.
“If we get to June, July, August with this, staff numbers will keep going down and we won’t be able to deliver services,” Yasuhiro Yuki, a professor in social welfare studies at Shukutoku University. “There could be a whole breakdown of elder care.”