Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Oiso Town Japan
As aging progresses globally, the proportion of Oiso Town’s population aged 65 and over has reached 34.0%. This figure is higher than the same proportion of the nation, which is 26.7% on an average. Since our Town’s senior population mostly consists of baby boomers, aging is expected to progress more rapidly over the 20 years from now.
In response to this situation, Oiso Town designed and started the project, “Oasis 24 – Healthy Oiso” on the initiative of its Mayor, a medical doctor. (See Note.)
This project was started as a townwide health promotion program with a concept to build “community health-consultation salons” where seniors can easily visit and ask for health advice to public health nurses and senior nutritionists who are making the round of Town’s 24 areas. In carrying out this project, we encountered a number of challenges, to which we developed solutions to make our project more effective. We are now collaborating with local physical therapists, pharmacists, nursing care providers and other services, with the aim of raising health awareness of seniors and their neighbors, disseminating preventive care information. This is the same objective Kanagawa Prefecture pursues in its “Improvement of ME-BYO” initiative.
Another program was created out of the feedback public health nurses and other healthcare providers obtained by talking with seniors in practicing“Oasis 24 – Healthy Oiso” program. We then found that a large number of seniors were afraid of becoming bedridden or in need of long-time support and care. To maintain seniors’ mobile capabilities, we started “Oiso Anti-locomotive Syndrome Class” to keep seniors’ mobile capabilities. This is a joint program by academy, industry and government. This class aims at making seniors well-informed of this syndrome by showing them with visualized figures how locomotive syndrome progresses without their knowing. Specifically, the class focuses on improving seniors’ leg muscle power by letting them practice leg exercises continuously. Through this exercise, we would like seniors to become more aware of the need of exercise habits, and to improve their motile functions, in order to realize a society where seniors can make an active and independent life as much as possible.
In order to find seniors’ health problems and promote residents’ health development activities effectively, we are working to increase networking among our regions and residents, to let people care each other, while supporting seniors to become more healthy. I believe we can create a more age-friendly town with such initiatives.
“Oasis 24 – Kenko Oizo” is the slogan’s original Japanese. Oizo, meaning many, is a pun of Oiso, and the literal translation of the slogan would be “There are many healthy people in Oiso’s 24 areas.”