Looking to the long term: the Japanese approach

SCIE Social Care Online
Nuffield Trust
Publication date:
01 January 2017


This briefing highlights two examples of preventative service from Japan which provide low level support to older people before their health deteriorates. The “Ten Million House” is run by volunteers and provides an informal meeting space for older people and activities. It aims to connect older people who are at risk of becoming isolated before their health deteriorates, providing them with an informal network they can rely on when their care needs increase. The ‘Dream Lake Village’ day centre provides low-level care to older people who live at home but who need some help with daily activities. It has been designed to increase users’ independence and prevent their decline. The examples show how, instead of waiting for those people to deteriorate to the point where they need care, the Japanese Government is encouraging municipal governments to invest in community facilities, volunteering and social support networks.