Commentary by Dr Jun Sasaki, Founder & Chairman, Yushoukai Medical Corporation, Japan
Laying in bed, looking through the window, we can see the familiar scenery of the city. No walls, no fences surrounding the perimeter. Housed in a newly furbished building that looks like it might be a nice cafe or a beauty salon, the location is open and free for local residents to come and go as they please. I wonder if we can do care services in this place. In order to age-in-place and to allow residents to continue to have interactions with the community, the place serves as a central hub for the general public, while at the same time supplementing care services for the residents. A dream of such a place has been realised in Japan, Shin-Minato. Welcome to the Shin-Minato Base.
The design and concept of the place would remind one of AOI Care in Fujisawa. In fact, Mr Tadasuke Kato, Founder of AOI Care, has been an active contributor since the planning stages of the Shin-Minato Base. I attended the opening ceremony on 19th November 2022 and had the pleasure to share insights with the director of Shimizu Municipal hospital. The new approach to medical care for seniors should be comprehensive and data should be shared between doctors from local practitioners to specialists. The paradigm shift in healthcare is moving from dependence on inpatient care to a focus on preventive health management. The care should focus on a lifestyle model, incorporated with home care so seniors can age-in-place and age healthy. The small-scale multi-function model at Shin-Minato Base is a good system in two aspects.
Firstly, the model is flexible and personalised to individual care needs of the recipient. By combining short-term rehabilitation stays, commuting services and home nursing visits, they are able to draw out the strengths in a face-to-face relationship with the client and able to support them in regaining their place and role. Secondly, having a range of care level services (where clients pay a fixed amount of remuneration according to the level of nursing care required) means that clients are able to experience an increased degree of independence in the community and there is a lesser dependence on formal care services, which will be reserved for those that require high level of care needs. This helps to ensure that business operations run smoothly. It is my wish that I could help create such community-based services, such that they exist in every region and province in Japan.
I would like to congratulate Shin-Minato Base on their opening once again and we look forward to seeing you there, in the future!
*This article has been translated from Japanese to English.