As the country with the longest life expectancy’with more than 40,000 inhabitants over the age of 100’it’s no surprise that Japan is considered one of the healthiest places in the world. But a recent report in the Toronto Star suggests that Japan may not have as many centenarians as previously thought.
The report comes after a discovery by Japanese police of a mummified man’previously believed to be one of Japan’s oldest at 111 years old’who had actually been dead for more than three decades. His daughter had kept the death a secret so that she could continue to collect his pension. The discovery has sparked an investigation into the centenarian population of Japan and hundreds seem to be missing.
But that’s not to say that Japan’known for its healthy diet and commitment to elderly care’isn’t home to some legitimately healthy elderly people. After all, Japan still boasts the highest life expectancy in the world at 83 years, according to the World Bank.
Perhaps the bigger issue at work here is the emotional, financial and mental strain that comes along with caring for aging parents. According to the Star, experts have suggested that elderly parents may have gone missing due to dementia or similar conditions, and their family members simply didn’t look for them. In a country that is home to so many elderly people, one has to wonder if the expectation of being cared for by family members rather than moving to a long-term care facility is too much for the younger generation to handle.
What do you think is behind Japan’s missing centenarians?