高齢者の自尊心が崩れるとき When the self-esteem of the elderly collapses


Self-esteem is the consciousness of a person given dignity. It is often said in the field of social welfare that "protect the dignity of people with disabilities and the elderly".  In general, the people who receive welfare are "people who have been reduced in value" socially (as Wolfensberger* puts it). It is intended for people with disabilities, the elderly, and low-income people. As human nature, (1) wanting to increase one's value, and (2) being valued and approved by others is a prerequisite for happiness and is what all human beings need. If these conditions are damaged, it becomes difficult to live. When doing welfare, the most important thing is to protect from the reduction of value, that is, to maintain self-esteem, and to acknowledge its value, in addition to the satisfaction of biological desires (meals, housing, ensuring safety, etc.).

It is not so difficult to lose self-esteem. Torture is said to be the most effective way to lose self-esteem. Bullying- and swearing and embarrassing things can also hurt self-esteem and give up on living. In his book Man's Search for Meaning , Viktor Frankl* says the difference in survival in Nazi concentration camps depends on whether you can maintain self-esteem.

In the elderly, it is especially important to have self-esteem. Older people have been more resistant to verbal violence from others than children and young people. Even in such elderly people, self-esteem has the same as young people, and it is the same that they want the values of others to be recognized and approved. However, the elderly often retire from work, and they are not considered to be living a socially valuable life, and physically it is not compatible with young people. For that reason, there was a custom of giving a special position to the elderly person, and respecting it in the position system society before. Japanese society centered on Confucianism is one of them.

When the society changed, it shifted from the identification society to the individualized society, and it became an age when all the individuals were treated equally, the elderly person changed completely from till then, and became existence put in a socially weak standpoint. In an individualized society, only the physical strength, status, and asset strength of individuals are the criteria for value. In that respect, the elderly are considered to be low value by society if they do not have status or assets because their physical strength is inferior. If this is added to this, a further "reduction in value" will occur. This trend is common worldwide, but unlike "lowering the value" for the elderly with a clear sense of Europe and the United States, in modern Japan, society is acting as if it has "respect" on the surface, even though it sees the same "value reduction" as in Europe and the United States at the bottom of consciousness. As a result, treatment which applies to the help of the family who seems to be "Respectful" is done with a little preferential treatment policy for the elderly person in general. However, the elderly person who is not paid respect any longer is played from the home and the society, is sent to the nursing home, or moves to the nursing home voluntarily. There is a risk of being driven out of his own home (behold La Vieillesse of Beauvoir).

A sense of self-affirmation has become a hot topic in recent years, almost like self-esteem. Self-affirmation comes from receiving approval from others. Self-affirmation is nurtured by being praised or trusted by others. On the contrary, if ignored or denied, the sense of self-affirmation decreases. In childhood, just as love is necessary, self-affirmation decreases when rejected and ignored in old age. In order to be treated as a person, it is necessary not to receive excessive preferential treatment, but to respect the intentions of the elderly, to value self-esteem, and to treat them as ordinary people in an "equal relationship". It is necessary to discuss from the same perspective as the elderly how to live the life (this is accompanied by responsibility) with finite resources (nursing care resources) that the elderly want, not those who are not needed by society or who cannot live without receiving nursing care.






※ウォルフ・ヴォルフェンスベルガー;1934年~。 ドイツに生まれ、アメリカに移住し、アメリカやカナダでノーマライゼーションの理念を紹介した。その後、ノーマライゼーションの独自の理論化・体系化を行い、社会的役割の実践(Social Role Valorization)という考え方を導入するようになった。ヴォルフェンスベルガーは、社会によって否定的にラベリングされることで形成される「逸脱状態」を是正するために、①環境を整備することで社会が受容する、②逸脱している個人が変容することで社会への適応を図るという2つの側面が必要であることを主張している。
※ヴィクトール・フランクル;1905年3月26日~1997年9月2日。 1905年にウィーンに生まれる。ウィーン大学在学中よりアドラー、フロイトに師事し、精神医学を学ぶ。1941年12月に結婚したが、その9ヶ月後に家族と共に強制収容所のテレージエンシュタットに収容され、父はここで死亡し、母と妻は別の収容所に移されて死亡した。フランクルは1944年10月にアウシュビッツに送られたが、3日後にテュルクハイムに移送され、1945年4月にアメリカ軍により解放された。ナチス強制収容所での体験を元に著した『夜と霧』は、日本語を含め17カ国語に翻訳され、60年以上にわたって読み継がれている。
※ボーボワール「老い」;1908年1月9日 - 1986年4月14日。フランスの哲学者、作家、批評家、フェミニスト理論家・活動家。「老い」の現実と、老いとその周囲の対立を、実存的な視点で描いているこの作品は、現代のような、表面的な、「いたわり」や「きずな」などでは、到底解決しようのない現実を間近に見せつけ、その解決が本質的な場所まで到達しない限り、甚だ困難であることを示している。

公益財団法人橋本財団 理事長、医学博士橋本 俊明
1973年岡山大学医学部卒業。公益財団法人橋本財団 理事長。社会福祉法人敬友会 理事長。特定医療法人自由会 理事長。専門は、高齢者の住まい、高齢者ケア、老年医療問題など。その他、独自の視点で幅広く社会問題を探る。
1973年岡山大学医学部卒業。公益財団法人橋本財団 理事長。社会福祉法人敬友会 理事長。特定医療法人自由会 理事長。専門は、高齢者の住まい、高齢者ケア、老年医療問題など。その他、独自の視点で幅広く社会問題を探る。
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