敬老の日 住民が見守り合う地域社会に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 20, 2011)
Disaster proves value of neighborly ties
敬老の日 住民が見守り合う地域社会に(9月19日付・読売社説)

The Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing tsunami hit hardest in regions where the ratio of elderly residents is relatively high compared with the national average.
 東日本大震災は、全国でも高齢者の比率が高い地域を襲った。

There are many elderly people among those who have taken shelter in temporary housing units in neighboring areas or moved to other parts of the country.
 仮設住宅や全国各地に避難している人の中にも、大勢のお年寄りがいる。

Respect-for-the-Aged Day is a time to reflect on this.
 きょうは敬老の日。

Efforts to help the disaster-affected elderly rebuild their daily lives will give important hints for improving administrative services for the elderly nationwide in the months ahead.
 被災した高齢者の生活再建をどう支援していくかは、今後の高齢者行政を充実させる上でも、大事な視点である。

Japanese society is graying year after year at an ever-accelerating pace.
 日本社会の高齢化は年々、加速している。

People aged 65 or older now make up 23 percent of the total population.
総人口に占める高齢者(65歳以上)の割合は23%に達した。

Over the next 10 years, the ratio will rise to about 30 percent.
10年後には約30%になる。

About one in every six elderly people, or 4.6 million individuals, lives alone.
 高齢者の約6人に1人、460万人が一人暮らしだ。

This number has increased by more than 1.5 million over the past 10 years, and 10 years from now, the number is projected to reach 6.3 million.
単身高齢者は過去10年で150万人以上増えた。10年後には630万人を超えると見られている。

According to a Cabinet Office survey, 20 percent of elderly men living alone and nearly 10 percent of elderly women living alone said they have "no one to turn to in time of need."
 内閣府の調査で単身高齢者の男性は2割、女性は1割近くが「困った時に頼れる人がいない」と答えている。

We should foster new bonds to make up for the ever-weakening ties within regions and among blood relations.
薄れつつある地縁血縁の結びつきを補う、新しい絆を創っていかなければならない。

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A prototype for tomorrow

In this sense, the challenge of rebuilding disaster-affected communities in ways that do not leave elderly residents feeling lonely may help us find ways to better deal with the rapid graying of society as a whole.
 そういう意味では、被災地の地域社会を、寂しい思いの高齢者を出さずに再生していくことが、直面する超高齢時代への対処法を探ることにもつながるだろう。

For instance, in disaster-affected areas, attempts are now under way to provide people with housing that harks back to life in row-house neighborhoods where residents would keep a kindly eye on each other.
 たとえば被災地では、住民同士が程よく見守り合う、「長屋づきあい」をイメージした住宅提供の試みが動き出している。

The city government of Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, in cooperation with the Institute of Gerontology of the University of Tokyo, has built temporary housing units designed to help residents foster neighborly contact.
 岩手県釜石市は、東京大学の高齢社会総合研究機構と協力し、近所同士の関係を醸成しやすい仮設住宅を作った。

With the entrances of the houses facing each other and a roofed wooden deck linking them, these homes were arranged so residents would be able to visit each other with ease.
 玄関を向かい合わせに配置し、住宅の間を屋根付きのウッドデッキで結んで、気軽に行き来できるようにした。

The residents are also provided with nursing care service for the elderly and play space for children. It is the sort of community where various generations of people, not only the elderly but also families with children, can help each other.
介護拠点や子どもの遊び場も併設して、高齢者だけでなく子育て世帯など、様々な世代が助け合うコミュニティーだ。

This is a concept that can be utilized not merely in temporary housing units but also for town planning in the future.
 期間限定の仮設住宅にとどまらず、今後の街づくりにも生かしていける発想である。

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Visitors provide human touch

In Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, city workers called "shopping and lifestyle supporters" visit temporary housing units and sell food and daily goods out of a bicycle trailer.
 福島県相馬市では、市が雇用した「買い物・生活支援員」が、リヤカーに食品などを積んで仮設住宅を訪問し、販売している。

The service is primarily designed to offer everyday living support for elderly or disabled evacuees who are disadvantaged in doing their daily shopping. But the workers are also hearing how people are doing, learning what they need and watching over them.
 高齢者や障害者など“買い物弱者”の支援が目的だが、被災者の近況や要望を聞き、見守る役目も果たしている。

The program is also a welfare-oriented, job-creating measure.
福祉型の雇用創出策でもある。

Such efforts in disaster-affected areas serve as important models for measures to be taken more widely in the months ahead.
 こうした被災地での取り組みをこれからの施策に生かし、発展させることが重要だ。

Local governments that have accepted evacuees into their public housing units across the country are also making efforts to build up regular contact by making door-to-door visits, so as to avoid such tragic situations as elderly people dying unattended.
 避難者を公共住宅などで受け入れた全国の自治体も、孤独死などの悲劇を生まぬよう、個別訪問など、ふれあいに努めている。

We should use these experiences to create more communities that the elderly will find livable.
 そんな経験をうまく生かして、高齢者が暮らしやすい地域社会を広げていきたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 19, 2011)
(2011年9月19日01時33分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-09-21 04:24 | 英字新聞

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