Ubasute and Elder Care

Earlier this month, I wrote a post in response to an article by Nancy Jecker entitled “Caring for aging parents requires government support”. In that article she advocated that the federal government provide more support along with advocating a system like the one used in Japan.


Image courtesy of: Tuesday Sunshine

My initial response was to question the model of Japan and instead consider the model used in Costa Rica. Another recent article, in Business Insider by Chris Weller about Japanese elder care underscored the original assessment. In Japan, there is a growing trend of “Ubasute“. Ubasute is a tradition that amounts to ‘granny dumping’.

In previous generations, the elderly were abandoned in the mountains or woods. With Japan’s ever expanding monetary problems, the ancient practice is being revived.

If Japan is used as the model for government assistance, let’s hope that it doesn’t include the Ubasute feature. We have enough problems navigating the doughnut holes and look back laws of Medicaid without ubasute being advocated by the government.