For crying out loud, just take up bowling!


Social isolation is driving elderly people to shoplifting, according to a recent Tokyo police survey.  A quarter of elderly shoplifters (who got caught, that is) stated that they did so out of sheer loneliness.  Forty percent of elderly offenders live alone, and more than half said that they do not have any friends.  Shoplifting is the only way that they can get their thrills.  I don’t really know what to say to this … except that if I reach the age of 70 and find that nobody is willing to hang out with me, then I’ll consider my life a complete success!  (Right now I think I could do with fewer friends, not more.)


2 comments on “For crying out loud, just take up bowling!

  1. Karen says:

    I wonder if that’s true in America? Are their senior citizen centers and programs there for the elderly?

  2. Miko says:

    Recently there are centres for the elderly (known as “daycare centres” in Japan), but the idea still hasn’t caught on because traditionally the elderly were cared for within the family, and there is still a great deal of resistance to the idea of sending them out to spend the day with strangers. Those places don’t seem like a lot of fun anyway, so no wonder the oldies are taking up petty crime to get their jollies. The issue of elderly care is a big, huge, pressing problem in Japan, and it seems to have caught the government unawares. Virtually everybody I know is struggling with it in their families, or is closely affected by it. Sonbeam is already planning his future around my eventual old age, as we both know that we cannot rely on the government to care for me. I feel sorry for him … but not sorry enough to discourage him.

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