Delegates from Tokyo’s Nihon University have been in Leeds to see how council cares for older people.
The visitors were escorted around various projects by a group of staff from West North West Homes Leeds (WNWHL). They also looked at how to build stronger links with the voluntary community sector.
The delegates are looking at how to build stronger links between councils and the voluntary community sector.
Japan is grappling with significant shifts in its society due to the demographic timebomb of a growing elderly population and a birthrate that is falling too far to provide enough people or tax money to pay for their care.
Other societal changes, such as the increasing number of younger people moving to big cities, has added to the immediate problems as in some areas of Japan there are not enough people to sustain care provision.
Like the UK, changes such as extra-care housing developments, which provide varying degrees of nursing support, and telecare are being considered as solutions to Japan’s problems.
Cathy Clelland, chair of the WNWHL board, said: ‘Japanese adult social care and housing provisions for the elderly are very different to ours, with a greater onus placed on the individual to organise their own accommodation and activates, rather than through sheltered housing providers and voluntary sector.’