Multisite Lifestyle for Older People after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

Geriatrics (Basel). 2023 Sep 3;8(5):87. doi: 10.3390/geriatrics8050087.


After the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in 2011, the Japanese government implemented a return policy, lifting most evacuation orders in former evacuation areas. Consequently, the return of residents is currently underway. However, it has become common for a large number of residents to carry out multisite living, a lifestyle involving returning to their hometown while maintaining their house at the evacuation site, or living at more than two sites. This report focuses on one aspect of the secondary effects of the nuclear incident, which forced affected residents to adopt a multisite lifestyle. Disasters always have a strong impact, via displacement, on those who are socially vulnerable, such as older people in an ageing society. They need intense support to resume their daily life as it was before the incident. For this report, we interviewed an elderly lady in her 90s, who is executing "multisite living" at evacuation sites, in order to obtain reassurance from neighbours and the local community. Our findings may provide valuable suggestions on how older people can restart their lives with the local community in an ageing society after disasters, which could apply to any kind of disaster preparedness.

Keywords: Fukushima; ageing in place; ageing society; disaster; multisite living; nuclear incident; older people; public reconstruction housing; return policy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports