Becoming an Elderly: Learning from Japan and the Need for a Change in Perspective

Tokyo, The PRAKARSA - The PRAKARSA attend a conference Asian Conference on Aging & Gerontology 10th in Tokyo, Japan. On Tuesday (26/03/2024). The PRAKARSA Since 2018, he has participated in conducting research and public discussions on aging issues. One policy that is still being advocated for is regarding the welfare and social protection of the elderly in Indonesia.

On the second day of the conference, resource person Adela Balderas Cejudo, from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom discussed “On People and Aging: Opportunities in an Overlooked and Misunderstood Market Segment”. This material was presented because we saw that the elderly population throughout the world was increasing and had brought about significant social transformational changes. The World Population Prospects (2022) revealed that the population aged 65 years and over is growing faster than the younger population. This demographic shift is expected to increase the global proportion of individuals aged 65 years and over from 10 percent in 2022 to 16 percent in 2050. This population change has also increased the participation of seniors in various activities. However, aging poses a significant challenge for decision makers in areas ranging from politics and technology to marketing and the service industry.

The next speaker discussed learning from Japan as a Role Model for Ultra-Aging Societies: Innovation and Sustainability in Universal Access Healthcare. This session was presented by Robert E. Claar, HekaBio. In his presentation he emphasized that the universal health system and access to health services is one of the reasons Japan has the best life expectancy and health rates among the G20 countries. However, on the other hand, Japan's aging population also reduces the working population, which is a factor that determines the tax base.

In the next two decades, Japan will have difficulty supporting universal healthcare standards without new policies and increased efficiency. One way to do this is to make it easier for migrant workers to become workers in Japan. This is not only a way to increase the working population and tax base, but also to increase the number of workers involved in the medical and nursing care services needed by the aging population.

It doesn't stop there, discussing elderly issues in perspective well-being specially presented by Miriam Sang-Ah Park, from Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom. Miriam presented the results of her research regarding Getting Old, Staying Young? Studying Older Adults' Well-Being. He stated that being “old” is no longer very old and the process of aging and its experiences are no longer something that is entirely negative. This means we must update our perspective and research focus to look at the lifestyles of today's elderly and investigate what it means to grow old positively. Not only that, the focus on looking at changes must be done holistically from both social and psychological aspects rather than just the traditional view of aging from a health perspective. The second day of the conference closed with a poster presentation activity, where all participants could ask researchers, academics and practitioners from various countries about the research topics they raised. Research topics are quite diverse, ranging from research on Health, Education, Aging and other topics relevant to the conference.

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