Construction of effective network for health care of the elderly in community - through cooperative studies between Saen Suk, Chon Buri, Thailand and Saku city, Nagano, Japan
Elderly rate in Thailand (over 60 years old) is 14% in 2012. In 2032 it is estimated to increase up to 26.1%. That of Chon Buri province is 9.7% in 2012. The 2nd National Plan on the Elderly (2002-2021) is being executed in Thailand. Actual activities are entrusted to provincial government. Elderly rate in Japan (over 65 years old) is 23.3% (2012). Elderly rate of Saku city is higher than the national rate but medical expense is much lower than average due to social welfare policies and health care services in the community. In Japan, the Comprehensive Reform of Social Security System is announced to be established by 2025 to respond to higher needs of the elderly. Common strategies of both countries are: 1. Measure on health promotion and disease prevention, 2. Promote their family members and caregivers to gain skills and knowledge, 3. Strengthening supportive networks. Through this project Saen Suk municipality and Saku City share experiences and discuss about countermeasures of those strategies for better actual practices to enhance the elderly’s quality of life in both countries. The practical knowledge from this project can be utilized for making advancement in gerontology and be disseminated internationally.
Despite the large difference in the rate of population aging between Thailand and Japan, both countries are promoting measures for seniors, Thailand by implementing the “Second National Plan for Older Persons (2002-2021)” and Japan by seeking to establish “Comprehensive Community Care System” by 2025. The goal of this project is to propose future measures by sharing Saku’s cumulative experience in elder care with Saensuk, and for Saku city to learn about community ties from Saensuk. Issues shared by both cities include 1) health promotion and disease prevention measures; 2) health education for family members and caregivers; and 3) strengthening the support network for the elderly and their families. Saensuk conducted two surveys, on health among the elderly and support for the elderly. Based on findings from these surveys, suggestions on measures to prevent lifestyle-related diseases, support for casual gathering places for the elderly and daily recreation activities, and establishment of a system for checking on seniors’ well-being were made in Saensuk municipality. Saku city will continue health promotion activities for the elderly and measures to strengthen community networks based on cross relations as to see faces each other in community. Importance of establishment of Comprehensive Community Care System was re-confirmed.