Questionnaire study on the concern of 245 inhabitants regarding funeral practices and sur vey on the situation of old people's hospitalization in the isolated islands of Zamami village with out crematorium were carried out in 2000. The relationship of funerary practice and care of old people are discussed. 1. Traditionally the funeral practice involves burial of the dead followed by exhumatio: after several years whence the bones are cleaned by their relatives. All people died in the is lands have been practiced in the islands from 1990 to 1999. 2. Concern of the respondents for the funeral practice is influenced by experience of bone cleansing. Most of the respondents over 50 years old who have experienced bone-cleansing, sup port cremation. About 40% of the respondents below 50 years old who have little experience, support free of the funeral practice. About 90% of inhabitants choose to have cremation after their death. 3. Among the patients over 65 years old from islands without crematorium who were hos pitalized in 4 hospitals in mainland Okinawa, those over 90 years hospitalized for terminal care constituted the high number, accounting for 23.1% from Zamami. The non existence of the crematorium facility and concern of the inhabitants seem to exert considerable influence on the lives of old people in isolated small islands.
Among three domains of independence: economical, practical and psychological independence, research on psychological independence remains scant, and no measurement scale has been developed. The objectives of this study are: 1) to specify the concept of psychological independence; 2) to construct a scale to measure psychological independence; and 3) to examine the validity and reliability of the scale by administering the scale to a large probability sample . Psychological independence was defined as a concept consisting of two sub-constructs: a purposefulness and personal accountability. A four-item scale was created for each sub-construct. Those sub-scales were administered to a national probability sample of 2, 203 individuals (age 18-69). Covariance structure analysis yielded a sufficient degree of fitness of the second-order structural equation model, which confirms the validity of the scale. Chronbach's alpha was 0.795 in the acceptable range, indicating reliability of the instrument. The applicability of the scale to the older population (age 70+) will be demonstrated in a future study.
The bone mineral density (BMD) of calcaneus were measured in 197 Okinawan female aged 40-80 years with type 2 (non insulin-dependent) diabetes, and 249 age matched non diabetes female were selected as control group. The BMD was decreased with age in both diabetes and control group. The difference between subject and control group were not significant except for the age group of 70's, the level being higher in diabetes group. These findings suggest that the diabetic osteopenia is not specific complication in calcaneus of type 2 diabetes female.