Lonely deaths as it literally means, is now on the rise in South Korea with middle aged men and elderly men mostly affected compared to women.
In this scenario, people who are isolated from their families and friends or have cut themselves off from family and relatives, dies due to illness or suicide and their bodies found days later.
Last year alone, the country recorded 3,378 such deaths, with the number of men 5.3 times the number of women.
This issue has earned a national attention in the Country over the past decade as the number of people dying through lonely deaths, increased.
It is believed that factors leading to this kind of deaths include;
- Economic difficulties.
- Disconnection and Rejection.
- Difficulties in managing daily life.
- Social walfare
Additionally, this reasons were steered by the Covid19 Pandemic.
Because of this, South Korean Government, enacted the Lonely Death Prevention and Management Act to help establish policies to prevent lonely deaths.
South Korea is among many other countries with fewer births and giving birth later in the years making the elderly more than the youth.
The country’s birth rate has since been dropping since 2015. Experts believes the following factors are the reason the South Korean people are putting off parenthood.
- Demanding work culture
- Rising cost of living
- Stagnating wages
This same reasons are as to why the elderly are now struggling to survive on their own and putting food on the table.
More than 43% of the South Koreans were under the poverty level as of the year 2016, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Lonely deaths have prompted various organizations and public to acty upon saving the lonely people from this kind of death.
“In 2018, the Seoul metropolitan government announced a “neighbourhood watcher” program where the community members pay visits to single-person households in vulnerable areas.” Wrote The CNN.
Several major cities, including Seoul, Ulsan, Jeonju among others, have rolled out mobile apps for those people living alone, which automatically send a message to an emergency contact if the phone goes inactive for a certain period of time.
(Source CNN News)