Management of aging society in Kobe, Japan

Main Article Content

Phetcharee Rupavijetra
Jiraporn Chompikul
Ploypailin Rupavijetra

Abstract

In  Japan,  aging  is  expected  to  progress  further  at  a  serious  pace;  therefore,  the  Japanese  government  and  administrations  at  all  levels  have  responded  to  this  matter  by  initializing  policies  and  plans  for  the  management  of  the  elderly society.  This  research  aimed  to  describe  the  following  issues:   (1)  long-term  care  insurance  for  the  elderly  and  (2)  health care  services  for  the  elderly.  The  research  was  based  on  the  principles  of  documentary  and  qualitative  research.  The  data were  collected  via  document  research  and  interviews  with  the  Kobe  Municipal  officers  which  was  composed  of  the  chief and  three  staff  members  of  the  Elderly  and  Welfare  Section  for  policies,  plans,  and  management  of  the  aging  society  in the Kobe Municipality during October- November, 2014. In addition, the data were collected from interviews with twenty elderly  Japanese  people  who  participated  in  Shiawase–no-mura  (the  Comprehensive  Welfare  Complex).   Content  analysis was used to  analyze  the  data.


The  research  findings  were  as  follows:  (1)  long-term  care  insurance  for  the  elderly  is  a  policy  that  provides  care  for the elderly, and is based on “Welfare Law for the Elderly” which was designed for low income elderly who have no family to care for them. However, the new long-term care insurance departs from past practices with respect to the following: (a) shifting the major responsibility for care giving from family to the state; (b) integrating medical care and social services via unified financing; (c) enhancing consumer choice and competition by allowing free choice of providers; (d) requiring older persons themselves to share the costs via insurance premiums as well as copayments; and (e) expanding local government autonomy  and  management  capacity  in  social  policy.  (2)  As  far  as  health  care  services  for  the  elderly  is  concerned,  the Japanese government’s initiative, the Welfare Law for the Elderly, has a special system for the elderly, called “Health Service System  for  the  Elderly.”  The  facility  services  in  special  nursing  homes  and  home  care  aid  services  are  funded  by  taxes. For, the Kobe Municipal has policies, plans, and management designed for the aging society: the long-term care insurance is  that  in  which  Kobe  city  is  equipping  itself  to  manage  effectively  the  trend  of  increasing  numbers  of  aging  people  by launching the statement, “keep life and take care” as well as planning for aged people with Alzheimer’s disease and aged people who are isolated. Kobe established the “Shiawase–no-mura”: the Comprehensive Welfare Complex designed for the elderly including the disabled and all the members in the family, and the program called Kobe Senior Citizens’ College or “Silver  College,”  which  provides  for  the  elderly  to  maintain  life-long  learning.  The  curriculum  is  composed  of  a  general course  which  provides  general  education,  sports,  and  health  management  studies,  and  the  special  courses  include  welfare community,  living  environment,  international  exchange,  cooperation,  and  general  art.


The research finding suggested that long-term care insurance, health care services and colleges for the elderly should be  promoted  to  improve  the  quality  of their  life.

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How to Cite
1.
Rupavijetra P, Chompikul J, Rupavijetra P. Management of aging society in Kobe, Japan. J Public Hlth Dev [Internet]. 2016 Oct. 6 [cited 2022 Dec. 10];14(2):61-75. Available from: https://he01.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/AIHD-MU/article/view/66804
Section
Original Articles
Author Biographies

Phetcharee Rupavijetra, Faculty of Education, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Department of Vocational Education and Wellness Promotion Faculty of Education, Chiang Mai University, Thailand

Jiraporn Chompikul, ASEAN Institute for Health Development, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

ASEAN Institute for Health Development, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

Ploypailin Rupavijetra, Governing Officer (Assistant District Chief Officer) acting as a secretary for governor at Payao Province

Governing Officer (Assistant District Chief Officer) acting as a secretary for governor at Payao Province