Yuki Sato is a staff at Medical Corporation Junkei-kai, a company that runs a series of health and care facilities including a hospital, an outpatient clinic, nursing and care homes for seniors in Akita City, Japan.
Her interest in social work developed when she was admitted in a hospital and got acquainted with an elderly woman who was blind and dumb. For 12 years, Yuki worked part-time as a caregiver in nursing and care homea for seniors. During this time, she took correspondence courses obtaining certificates in the following; care manager, care worker and social worker.
She currently works as a social worker at SINCERE which is part of Junkei-kai Company. Her officse coordinates the work of the Community General Support Center which is commissioned to strengthen community support services that ensure healthy living for seniors.
Community-Based Support Services aimed at Reducing the Need for Long-Term Care
Over the years, the Japanese government has been taking several measures to tackle the challenges of its super-aged society, healthcare having long been a primary focus. In 2000, the government implemented the Long-Term Care Insurance system to improve the provision of long-term care for older adults. But as the population of the elderly is growing fast, government spending on long-term care is rising. In the hope to reduce budgetary pressures on long-term care, the government started to focus on expanding community care by creating Community General Support Centers across the country. The centers are commissioned to strengthen community support services serving as the first point of contact to help seniors in each city reduce their individual need for long-term care. The work of these centers is regulated by their municipalities. This paper will describe exercises designed for retaining physical strength and functioning among seniors in a small community. It will illustrate how a senior citizen café plays a crucial role in promoting social participation and community engagement. While some challenges will be highlighted, older adults are gradually recognizing the importance of community services that sustain health and reduce the need for long-term care.
– Encouraging healthy ageing among seniors in small communities
– Preparing seniors to adopt community support activities
– Creating community support services
-How to help seniors strengthen their community support programs
Conclusion / Take Home Messages:
Community General Support Centers help step up efforts to ensure adequate community support for seniors to deal with issues such as isolation, abuse and safety. Such centers supplement government efforts in promoting healthy ageing and social participation of seniors in communities.