ELDERLY CARE: THE JAPANESE EXPERIENCE

ELDERLY CARE: THE JAPANESE EXPERIENCE

From the 25th of March to the 1st of April the Australian delegation participated in a study tour on elderly care that was held in Tokyo.

Japan is a country effectively tackling the problem of aging population with innovative programs, including everything from comprehensive long-term-care insurance to robotics.

The aging of populations started attracting attention in developed countries in the 1990s. The phenomenon has been especially striking in Japan, where the ratio of people aged 65 years or over to the total population reached 26.7% in 2015. According to current forecasts, by 2025 20% of Japanese nationals will be at least 75 years old and 30% at least 65. In other words, Japan will become a super-aged society with no parallel in history.

However, measures are already being put in place by private and municipal groups to turn these gloomy forecasts around. Nursing care equipment to support the elderly is growing into an important industry. As Japan leads the world in aging, it can also serve as reference for other countries following the same demographic track.

During the five days of the study tour the participants have gained insights into Japan’s distinctive social healthcare system through visiting elderly care organizations and innovative facilities and participating in practical activities. The greater part of the tour was focused on the use of Robo Care units and equipment.

Through the study tour, Australian participants had the unique opportunity to deepen their knowledge of current trends in elderly care field and develop their understanding of Japanese social politics regarding increasing problem of aging society.