1. NEWS AND INFORMATION

Dr. Mercy Hodges and others of the Cambridge University Public Health Research Center reported that the rate of early-onset dementia is 11.5 cases per hundred thousand people a year.

The report is based on the research in the area of Cambridgeshire from 2000 to 2006.

2. AAJ HEADQUARTERS UPDATE

A happy new year! May this year be excellent for all members of AAJ.

AAJ was started by only five members in Kyoto and expanded to ten thousand all over Japan through these 30 years and has achieved the improvement of dementia care in society widely.

Now we are facing many challenges in an aging society economically, politically and socially. We keep striving to build a peaceful society for PWDs and their carers.

3. HOW I BRIDGED OVER THE HARDSHIPS

Eighty-five messages from carers who bridged over their hardships arrived at AAJ headquarters in response to the request. Each message contains invaluable words for carers who are struggling to take care of their family members. The followings are some examples:

*I had been exhausted from taking care of my husband and often asked him for us to commit double suicide. But he answered, “I will never kill myself. No one in our family can kill oneself and also others.” I stopped thinking about death on hearing his words.

*When I said to my mother that we should die together, she answered with a magnificent smile, “I want to live to the full.” It took my breath away. The smile rescued me.

4. PROFESSIONAL’S COMMENT      BY PROF. M.STUDOME

“Taking care of one’s family member is incompatible with keeping one’s job.”

Our study group on male carers has been receiving many complaints from male carers, such as a decrease in income, dismissal, etc.

According to government statistics, there are 140,000 people who retired because of taking care of their family members in 2007 in Japan. Twenty-five thousand of these retired are male and half of them are in their forties and fifties. The number of men who retired to take care of their family members has doubled in the last nine years. The improvement of working conditions is necessary.

And also the LTCI System is inadequate to support the elderly living alone or to make care and work compatible. In other words, the LTCI system is based on the type of family which includes both a carer and a bread winner. The Long Term Care Insurance System should be reformed to meet the super aging society, too.

5. LETTERS FROM MEMBERS

7. MESSAGE FROM PWDS

8. PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

TAKE HEART AND TAKE CARE TILL NEXT MONTH!!