El­derly care pol­icy

The Korea Times - - OPINION - South China Morn­ing Post

It is a sad and all-too-fa­mil­iar story, a son with a men­tal con­di­tion is sus­pected of mur­der­ing his bedrid­den mother be­fore jump­ingfrom their flat in a sui­cide at­tempt. The fam­ily tragedy, the third of its kind in eight months, was greeted with the same old pledge from the gov­ern­ment — a re­view of the rel­e­vant sup­port ser­vices. Sym­pa­thy and prom­ises aside, we need to ask more crit­i­cal ques­tions. Why do such deadly dra­mas keep hap­pen­ing?

Po­lice are ex­pected to find out more from the 34-year-old man, who sur­vived the leap from the 16th floor. He is a psy­chi­atric pa­tient, whose con­di­tion was de­scribed as “sta­ble” at a con­sul­ta­tion 11 days be­fore the in­ci­dent. The fam­ily’s two live-in do­mes­tic helpers have also been in­ter­viewed.

Ques­tions have been asked as to whether the tragedy could have been pre­vented. While much has been said about the ser­vices for the ail­ing and dis­abled, the pres­sure on car­ers is of­ten over­looked. If the man’s con­di­tion is linked to nurs­ing his ail­ing mother, it has to be asked whether he has been given suf­fi­cient treat­ment and sup­port.

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