ILC-Japan has been promoting public-industry collaboration to enhance support for older adults in daily living. After conducting studies with community support coordinators and creating a tool with tips to make improvements, we are now in the implementation stage to build actual collaboration between supermarkets and municipalities.

The project started in 2020 and has been funded by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

In 2021, we assessed the needs of Seikatsu Shien Coordinators (SCs, community support coordinators) on what support/collaboration they would like to have from/with the supermarket industry. We created a tool (brochure) for supermarkets to make improvements based on the input from the SCs, and widely distributed it to relevant actors, for example at a supermarket trade show.

In 2022, utilizing this tool, we started to take a further step by approaching supermarket chains to facilitate the actual collaboration with municipalities. Currently, we are working with supermarkets and municipalities in two prefectures (Shizuoka and Kochi), discussing possibilities for them to co-organize events on a regular basis.

For example, a supermarket chain Hibariya has started working with the City of Shimada in Shizuoka Prefecture. They have decided to co-organize events regularly and held the first one in November 2022 (as shown on the flyer above).

At the event, the store set up a slow checkout lane and offered more products for older customers (e.g., ready-made food they like). Meanwhile, the City provided an exercise class for seniors in the store, and set up a desk at the store entrance so that older shoppers could come and talk to city workers about their problems in daily living. They plan to co-organize this kind of event on a regular basis and further enhance the program content.

The slow checkout lane

The slow checkout lane

The exercise class

The exercise class

The senior consultation desk

The senior consultation desk

Ichiro Nakamura

Director, ILC-Japan

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