28 July 2014

終の棲家 Tsui no Sumika

Title: 終の棲家 Tsui no Sumika
English Title: Final Abode
Country: Japan
Languaage: Japanese
Year: 2014
Episode: 02
  • 桐谷美玲 Kiritani Mirei
  • 岡田義徳 Okada Yoshinori
  • 加藤虎ノ介 Kato Toranosuke
  • 平泉成 Hiraizumi Sei
  • 織本順吉 Orimoto Junkichi
  • 佐々木すみ江 Sasaki Sumie
  • 橋爪淳 Hashizume Jun
  • 麿赤兒 Maro Akaji
  • 大方斐紗子 Okata Hisako
  • 古村比呂 Komura Hiro

Asakura Tomoko has worked as a rookie reporter for almost a year but she hasn't published at least one article in the local newspaper. Her bosses have given her notice that she will be transferred to a different department by the end of her first year at work, and she is resolved to publish an article before then.

Tomoko wants to write about the health care services for the elderly people because there are no other reporters who are interested in the topic. She thinks that the home-based nursing programs are wonderful, and as she is working on a report from this perspective, she finds out the issues and limitations of such services.

She interviews several patients to gather information for her article, and she realizes that the patients are dying of heart failure one after another. Tomoko is suspicious that there may be foul play, and she investigates the matter.

Tsui no Sumika is about the health care services and nursing programs for the elderly people in Japan, including preventive care services and home-based nursing programs. It talks about the issues with the currently available services.

Asakura Tomoko thinks that the home-based nursing programs are wonderful because her own grandfather was happy to recuperate at home when he was sick instead of staying in hospitals.

But Tomoko is ignorant about many things. Tomoko is from a wealthy family, so the circumstances are quite different in terms of financial resources. Although families want to provide the best health care services for their loved ones, many people can't actually do so because of limited finances.

In addition, Tomoko didn't take care of her sick grandfather so she doesn't really know how difficult it is to care for a patient. Her mother was the primary caregiver and her older sister helped their mother. They didn't seem to be working so they were able to provide nursing services full-time.

For many families, the children have to work so they couldn't always be there to care for their parents, especially if their work takes them far from their parents' homes. There are also elderly couples who have no children, so they could only rely on each other.

The drama talks about how the elderly don't want to be a burden to other people, especially to their children who are busy living their own lives. What they want the most is to live independently in their own homes and to take care of themselves like they always do, but they couldn't do that anymore because of old age and related health problems.

Hirabayashi Akira: Final abode does not mean the place where you spend your final moments in death.
Asakura Tomoko: Yes. It's not that the elderly want to die at home. They want to live at home; as much as possible as they had up until then and without change, they want to live as themselves there until they die. The place where they can live like that, isn't that a final abode?

Tsui no Sumika also touches on the conflicted emotions of the children who become primary caregivers of their parents. They love their parents but they are exhausted all the time, and they sometimes resent their elderly parents for being one of their responsibilities. Although they want their old parents to live long lives, they are relieved when their parents die because that means they don't have to take care of them anymore.

終の棲家 Tsui no Sumika