Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Minamiashigara City Japan
The population of Minamiasigara City in 2017 is 43,349, and the percentage of population aged 65 and over is 30.02%. As the number of elderly-only households and elderly people living alone or with dementia increases from now on, it is expected that demand for medical and nursing care will increase, and that needs for nursing care will increase and be diversified both in quality and quantity.
For this reason, Minamiashigara City has endeavored to enhance the welfare of the elderly by creating regional ties and a system that encourages people to support each other in their community organizations, collaborating with citizens toward the same goal, based on a basic philosophy “a city where the elderly can live safe, fulfilling lives in their familiar communities,” in order to respond to the declining birthrate and ageing society that we have never experienced.
Especially, we stress measures to support citizens, communities and administration in working together to promote social participation of the elderly, health promotion, prevention of long-term care and measures against dementia, and establish a system that enables the elderly in need of medical and nursing care to continue to live at home.
For the elderly to age in place, it is important to provide a living environment where they can feel safe and secure. We are thus working to develop our city into a more friendly one to the elderly, with consideration for barrier-free and universal design.
In the Western Area of Kanagawa Prefecture where Minamiashigara City is located, the municipalities have a close relationship historically and geographically. Kanagawa Prefectural Government positioned this area as a “strategic area for improvement of ME-BYO” and has promoted projects to revitalize this area in order to extend healthy life expectancy of the people living in and visiting to the area.
In order to make Minamiashigara City more age-friendly, we will join the projects collaborating with Kanagawa Prefectural Government and other municipalities in this area and aim to extend healthy life expectancy of Minamiashigara City. Also, we will listen to the needs of the elderly, the opinions of citizens and experts, and reflect these factors on our policies. And by linking with the comprehensive plan of Minamiashigara City, we will implement age-friendly projects in various fields.
(ME-BYO: Rather than regarding health and illness as being mutually exclusive, the concept of ME-BYO views a person’s mental and physical condition as continuously changing along a spectrum between health and illness).