As the baby boom ages into the elder explosion in the world’s industrial nations, more and more innovative solutions will appear in the effort to provide seniors with the many sorts of care they deserve and to which they are entitled.
In Japan, the nation at the forefront of the elder explosion, ‘Senior Co-operatives’–Koreikyo, a hybrid form of cooperation combining aspects of consumer and worker co-operatives of, by and for seniors, have grown rapidly to more than 100,000 members over the past decade. In the Koreikyo model, the active elderly (roughly 55 to 75 years old) provide care for the frail elderly (generally 75 and older) in the care receiver’s own home through the co-operative’s home-helper dispatch centers. Since 2000, this expense can be reimbursed by national long-term nursing care insurance (kaigo hoken) under defined conditions. People 65 and over are entitled to home-helper services and visiting nurse care, day care and brief stays at nursing facilities as needed, according to the judgment of a trained care plan manager.
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