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Government Takes Actions to Better Identify and Support People at Risk of Isolation and Lonely Deaths

  • Date : 2023-05-31
  • Hit : 1435

Government Takes Actions to Better Identify and Support People at Risk of Isolation and Lonely Deaths

■ The government makes the first master plan to prevent lonely deaths and implements up-close, in-depth welfare measures for the socially disadvantaged
■ The survey cycle shortened from five years to one, supports the social integration of at-risk groups
■ Life cycle-based support for healthcare and family and everyday life

The Ministry of Health and Welfare (Minister Cho, KyooHong) announced the “1st Master Plan for Prevention of Lonely Deaths (2023~2027),” prepared collectively by involved government ministries on May 18 (Thursday). The plan is one of the salient government policies designed to improve welfare services for the socially disadvantaged and provide them with more up-close and in-depth social welfare services. It is the first master plan for preventing lonely deaths to preserve individuals’ dignity* until the last moment of their life.

* “The first step of welfare is to ensure that people can maintain dignity and value as humans”(President Yoon Suk Yeol at the Ministry of Health and Welfare policy briefing on January 9, 2023)

With a goal of reducing the number of lonely deaths per 100 people compared to total deaths by 20% by 2027 (1.06 in 2021 to 0.85 in 2027), the government plans to mobilize all available workforce and resource networks to better identify and support people at a high risk of lonely deaths. Under the plan, the government will train ‘lonely death prevention gatekeepers’ tasked with identifying people at a high risk of lonely deaths in the course of their everyday activities, conduct surveys in areas particularly vulnerable to lonely deaths to identify high-risk groups of people, and develop a model to collect information on and identify people prone to a lonely death crisis, based on the characteristics of these groups.

In addition, the government will expand the pilot project* for preventing and managing lonely deaths currently being implemented in some areas to address the social isolation of at-risk groups through services tailored to the needs of different regions and to provide integrated life cycle-based welfare services required to deal with life crisis factors including healthcare and employment.

* Locally-led welfare services available in 39 Si/Gun/Gu, including checking upon individuals and providing support for everyday activities (Aug. 2022 ~ Dec. 2023)

The government will establish a lonely death information system and increase the number of integrated case managers working for local governments to better monitor and manage high-risk groups. It will also designate social isolation prevention and support centers at national and regional levels in order to build a public-private cooperation system for effectively preventing and managing high-risk groups.

For the government to design and implement policies based on reliable statistics, the lonely death survey cycle has been reduced from five years to one, allowing the government to obtain accurate data on lonely deaths per year and the service demand of people at risk.

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