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Woman's win of nursing home money a rarity in aging Japan

Woman's win of nursing home money a rarity in aging Japan

TOKYO — When her stay at the glamorous assisted-living facility turned into a nightmare of disrupted sleep and difficulties with the staff, the retired widow opted out.

The legal battle over the hefty up-front payment she was required to make took two years, but Yumi Makino got all $113,000 back in a rare victory over a big real estate company.

Older people face many challenges finding suitable care and accommodations in "super-aging" Japan. One of those is the hefty deposits, which are banned or being phased out elsewhere but still common around Japan.

A government-backed consumer affairs agency reports growing cases of residents unable to get those payments refunded.

A consultant says generous government support for the elderly means facilities try to please bureaucrats who dole out the aid, more than residents.

Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press