March 11, 2015

elder careIn the US, with the senior population reaching retirement age at a rapid rate, we’re facing an elder care crisis, but we’re not the only country with this problem. With one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world, and with one in five residents a senior (expected to increase to one in three by 2035), Japan is also facing the challenges associated with a swiftly growing aging population, and is coming out ahead of the pack.

The following are a few lessons we can learn from Japan that could help us address our own aging care crisis:

  • Caring Relationship Tickets: Imagine a type of currency worth an hour of service for the elderly. Japan has instituted such a system that allows anyone to earn tickets by helping a senior in the community, and then in turn, cash them in for an hour of service for themselves when needed.
  • Specially Designed Smartphones: Easier for older eyes and fingers to navigate, these phones will even allow the user to slow down the speech of a caller to better hear and understand.
  • Senior-Friendly Shopping Centers: Comprised of all things senior – diabetes checks, bifocals, anti-aging creams, groceries with larger printed price tags, even hula and yoga classes and a dating service – this idea has proven to be a huge success.
  • Fall-Defying Socks: Catching a toe on an uneven carpet or flooring is one of the leading causes of falls resulting in serious injuries. To combat this, these socks pull upward on the toes to ensure that they lift off the floor with each step.

Click here to read more about the cutting edge ideas coming from Japan shared by Senior Planet.

If your family is facing a senior care crisis of your own, contact the St. Louis elder care experts at Continuum. We believe in empowering seniors through our specialized in-home care services and allowing for worry-free care transitions for seniors and their families, and we’d be happy to discuss care options for your loved one.