Written with extracts translated from NHK
May 19 2020
KANAGAWA – In Kanagawa prefecture, where the declaration of emergency situation continues, it was found that the number of welfare services for persons with disabilities that are closed due to the spread of infection has doubled in the past month. On the other hand, although it has been closed for a while, the burden on the parties and family is increasing, and there is a movement to resume such services.
When NHK interviewed local governments in the prefecture about the impact of the prolonged spread of infection on the welfare of persons with disabilities, the number of welfare services for persons with disabilities that had been closed numbered 125. Most facilities that were closed were “out patient” and “short stay” facilities.
The number of closures per week until the 19th of last month, when each local government summarized the number of services thst were closed or suspened for the first time, was 61, which means that it has doubled in the past month.
The reason for the leave was almost all 122 voluntary leave to prevent infection, and the other three were due to staff shortages due to staff being unable to go to work due to school closures.
Looking at the number of closures by municipality, Yokohama city was 58, Kawasaki city was 36, which is about 5 times the number of the previous month, which is due to the fact that new infection continues to be confirmed in each city this month. I think.
On the other hand, some local governments in the prefecture have been decreasing the number of closures for the temporary period, and some business establishments are temporarily closed, but the impact is prolonged, and the burden on users and their families is increasing. As a result, there are also movements to restart after taking measures against infection.
In Kawasaki City, the number of closures of welfare services for persons with disabilities was 36 for one week until the 17th, increasing by 5 times from 7 months ago.
Under these circumstances, Kawasaki City conducted a survey of business establishments in the city at the end of last month, and 350 survey respondents answered that “the business has been partially reduced” in addition to “closed”. This means that there were 137 business establishments, accounting for about 40% of the answers.
Regarding the reason for suspension of work or reduction, 46% of the respondents said that “there was a risk of infection such as an infected person in the area”, followed by “because the number of users decreased due to self-restraint” at 21%.
When asked about their concerns about service continuity, they said, “Some people can’t wash their hands or masks well, but some people come to the hospital with a risk of infection due to public transportation or hospital visits.” There is a great deal of anxiety among staff because they may become seriously infected when infected with.
On the other hand, there were also voices saying, “I am asked to refrain from going to the office, but the burden on my family will increase due to the prolonged period.”
Yasushi Sakai, the director of the Kawasaki City Disability Planning Division, said, “There are many places where employees worry about the increase in the number of infected people and take time off on their own. Because people with disabilities need welfare services for people with disabilities to live and live, We would like to promote support so that we can continue while listening to the voices of business operators. ”
Some business establishments where people with disabilities and children go to were temporarily closed but reopened while taking measures against the burden on themselves and their parents.
Among these, the outpatient facility that provides daytime support and day-service after school mainly for children with disabilities under high school in Sagamihara City voluntarily started from the end of February due to the increase of infected people in the city. I was closed.
However, while parents and others said that “there is nowhere for children with disabilities” or some children are not good at making rapid changes, a series of compelling voices such as “I was irritated by myself” continued for about two weeks. I decided to restart.
When restarting the facility, in addition to going to the office, temperature is measured twice in the afternoon, and desks and doorknobs that are touched by children are sterilized every hour, and the inside of the transfer car is also sterilized after each transfer. We are taking various measures including thorough enforcement.
It is said that there are households that refrain from using it, and the number of users during the day has decreased to about two-thirds, but the children who visited the facility spend their favorite time playing ball, skipping rope, etc. It was
However, depending on the nature of the disability, some children may be difficult to wash because they are not sensitive to water because they are sensitized, or wearing a mask may be a burden, and staff use wet tissues instead of hand washing. I explained carefully so that I could wear the mask as much as I could, and dealt with it.
Depending on the facility, human resources are needed to prevent such infections, making it difficult to support proper medical care, and how to eliminate stress and anxiety in children is an issue.
A 19-year-old man who uses the facility said, “I can’t do anything unless I go outside. I’m restless at home. When I come here, I’m happy to meet my friends.”
A mother in her 40s used by her junior high school son said, “I can see from the behavior and facial expressions that I am refreshed when I return from here. There are less options for spending compared to children without disabilities, and it is dangerous if you take your eyes off There are also some parts, and there is a pain in maintaining a constant state other than sleeping hours. Without it, I think that not only the person but also myself and my family will be mentally hunted down. ”
Satsuki Tsushima of the NPO “Community Welfare Research Institute” said, “Because I can convey my feelings even if I do not have words, I am stressed that different situations are usually stressed and I am patient. People with disabilities are not good at making rapid changes, so we want to provide a place where people can stay the same. ”