Social Isolation of Elderly People in Japan : From the Viewpoint of Family Paradigm Changes
木脇, 奈智子 ,
新井 康友 ,
Nachiko, KIWAKI ,
ARAI Yasutomo ,
Fuji Women's University, Faculty of Human Life Science, Department of Early Childhood Care and EducationChubu Gakuin University, Faculty of Human Welfare, Department of Human Welfare
73 , 2015-03-31
The purposes of this study were to clarify changes in Japanese family relationships and family paradigms and to identify future issues through analysis of the social isolation among elderly people that was identified in previous studies on family sociology after World War II. After World War II, modern nuclear families with gender-based role division were considered the norm in Japan. The eldest son and his family had a duty to live with the aging parents,and it was considered desirable to take care of them at home. However, parents and their offspring are now more reluctant to live together due to the advancement of today's aging society and the personalization of lifestyles, and the number of elderly-couple and single households has increased sharply. Elderly single householders not engaged in a network become isolated, and the sudden increase of deaths in social isolation seen in the 21st century has become a social issue. The number of elderly single households is expected to continue increasing. Against such a background, there is a need to review family paradigms in modern families and to discuss ways for elderly people to establish and maintain human relationships with people other than family members from the perspective of selfhelp, cooperation from the community and public assistance.