Doubleplus Nogood

A horrible recent story in South Korea involving a rise in older children killing their senile parents:

“According to the police precinct in Dongjak District, southern Seoul, the 57-year-old father of Leeteuk was found hanging in the bedroom of his apartment in Dongjak. The grandparents were found on their bed, covered with a blanket.

Both of the elder Park’s parents are said to have suffered from dementia in recent years. His father was 84 and his mother 79. The police said Park, who worked in the foreign trade business, had supported his ailing parents for 15 years.”

As horrible as this is, there is a certain “logic” to why it’s happening:

“According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the number of dementia patients aged 65 and above reached 576,176 last year, up from 474,066 in 2010. The ministry said the number would climb if it included patients kept out of the health system by their families. With those included, the number could go well beyond 600,000 and reach 1.27 million by 2030.

Korea’s Confucian-based culture places heavy emphasis on the responsibility of children taking care of elderly parents at home rather than placing them in nursing homes.”

Throw in a weak economy globally and a dangerously low birth-rate locally and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

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