Old people struggle to survive as South Korea becomes 'aged society'
Lee Sang-joon stands barely five feet tall, but the South Korean pensioner still has trouble stretching out to sleep at night in the tiny cubicle he has called home for the past 12 years.
Mr Lee, 76, is one of hundreds of old people living out their twilight years in rooms barely the size of cupboards, crammed side by side into the warren-like corridors of dismal hostels in the shadow of Seoulâs modern skyscrapers.
Time passes slowly in Dongjadong Jjokbangchon, a pensionersâ ghetto where old men and women sit in solitude in the park or shuffle slowly past rundown buildings before making a meagre dinner on a camping stove.
Like many others, Mr Lee, a former house painter who arrived in Seoul over 50 years ago, does not wish to burden his three children with his financial woes. âThey are too busy taking care of their own children. I donât want any support fro m them,â he said.
He rents his sparse living quarters - where he keeps a roll-up mattress, a fridge, fan, and a wire on the wall as a makeshift wardrobe - for $200, one third of his monthly state pension. Toilets and a shower are shared with his neighbours.Source: Google News South Korea | Netizen 24 South Korea