16th November 2018
On November 16, 2018, ILC Japan co-hosted an international symposium “Japan, a leading country in population aging! Communities built by everyone as a main player” with the Dia Foundation for Research on Ageing Societies.
We invited Dr. Marieke van der Waal (Director, ILC NL), and over 200 people participated in the symposium. The speakers presented the trends in Europe as well as leading practices in the Netherlands and Japan. The message sent to the participants was, “We need a paradigm shift from ‘doing it for you’ to a participatory society that ‘helps self-help.’”
The UK, Denmark and the Netherlands have been going through major reforms, transforming themselves from “welfare states” to “participatory societies,” with a strong sense of crisis along with population aging. Based on the concept “Aging in place,” their efforts have been shifting from “doing it for you” to “help self-help” through independence of individuals and communities. According to Marieke, in the Netherlands, the paradigm shift from the welfare state to participatory society has accelerated since the opening statement was made by the King at the 2013 Parliament. Everyone who is able would be asked to take responsibility for their own lives and immediate surroundings. The labor participation rate among people aged 55-64 has also been increasing significantly. Moreover, Social Wijkteams (SWTs, social district teams) actively provide a range of assistance under the support by municipalities. Voluntary activities are also strong, where volunteer coordinators provide a variety of services to coordinate volunteers and people/organizations that ask for volunteers.
As for Japan, research has shown that increasing frequency of social interaction will lead to prevention of care needs and that the risks of dementia are lower for municipalities with higher social participation rates among residents. A speaker stressed the importance of changing our perspectives about support for independence: We should further promote the concept of “Continue what older people want to do in their lives in the familiar environment.” Based on this perspective, two initiative in Japan were introduced at the symposium. One presentation was on “Hyakuninriki (power of hundred people) Salon” in Tokyo, a part of “Ogikubo Kazoku (Family) Project” consisting of rental apartments and open space for the community. The other presentation was on “Genki Station,” a community activity program managed by residents and supported by Yokohama City. Both of these community-based initiatives are led by residents themselves, and people can easily participate in these activities.
The presentations were followed by a panel discussion, where speakers discussed roles of coordinators in communities and future of community-based activities from the perspectives of supporting “participation,” “independence” and “networking.” The seminar hall was filled with enthusiasm.
Mamiko Fukuhara, Operation Director of ILC-Japan
Contact: ILC-Japan; firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture: (from the left to right; Dr. Yoko Matsuoka, Dr. Marieke van der Waal, Mr. Shinji Hattori, Ms. Masako Rurikawa and Ms. Yuki Takizawa)
Professor Julie Byles, Head of ILC-Australia presents on ‘Healthy Ageing at very old ages – perspectives of women from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, at the 53rd Annual Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) Conference in 2020.
29th January 2021
After a successful first edition in 2019, almost one hundred participants (ranging from 50 to 74 years) started on 14 January 2021 with the free learning program Silver Starters, which was developed by Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing and Aegon. In 12 weeks, the participants will lay the foundation for converting their idea into their own company through online learning and coaching.
15th January 2021
On the last day of 2020, the 300th story milestone was accomplished and published on Wij & corona (translated into Us & corona). On this Dutch story platform experiences of older people during these trying corona times are shared. With this we give the voice of seniors a stage and support and inspire each other! For example, Willem (71) tells how he tries to stay fit at home and Maarten (77), who is a heart patient and must be extra careful.
1st January 2021