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[Graphic News] More than 1.5m people at risk of ‘lonely death’: survey

By Nam Kyung-don

Published : June 1, 2023 - 08:01

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More than 1.5 million South Korean people are at risk of “lonely death,” or unattended death, accounting for 3 percent of the country’s population, a government survey showed.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare said it had conducted the poll on a sample of 9,471 single-member households from November to December last year to check their circumstances that could possibly lead to a lonely death in the future.

The 10-step checklist includes questions about whether the respondent has social interaction at least once a week or has relatives or friends to ask for help in case of illness, according to the ministry.

According to the Lonely Death Prevention and Management Act, lonely death refers to a phenomenon of people with no relatives dying alone and remaining undiscovered for a certain period of time. It is also called solitary or unattended death.

Among them, people in their 50s made up 33.9 percent, followed by those in their 60s and 40s with 30.2 percent and 25.8 percent, respectively. (Yonhap)