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She predicts that the trends for increase of users will continue more than what had been projected in the earlier years at the time of the enactment of the law(s) in question. She emphasized the importance of some measures to be deployed to make long-term care service insurance system to be a viable and sound system, some of which include a program calling for "Effective of Long-term Care Prevention" She has cited that services for people at lower care levels like support level or care level 1 are not leading to improvement of conditions requiring care.

In order to show the division between In-home Care Services and Institutional
Facilities for Care Services that users of the system are taking its benefits are shown;

  • In home services in terms of number of users------2.09 million (74%)
  • Institutional facilities for care services -----------720 thousands (26%)
Whereas, Insurance Benefits Amount is shown;
  • In-home services------------------------------18.75 billion yen (\) 46%
  • Institutional facilities for care services--------- 21.83 billion yen(\) 54%
It is noted that facilities services users, accounting a quarter of the whole, are spending more than half of insurance benefits amount.

Another important topic upon which Ms. Watanabe dowelled on her remarks was dealt with the issues of the further enhanced efforts for continuing In-home life to meet the needs of the elderly. She pointed out that 36% of the elderly wishes to continue to live in their present home even when they become weak. It is also pointed out that the elderly hoping to be placed in public long-term care facilities is 11.6%. In more specific way how the elderly wish to lead their aging period of their lives, the following figures may indicate "Living arrangement desirable when the elderly become frail or weak" as presented by Ms.Watanabe at her opening remarks;

  • Hope to continue to live in the present house-----------------------36.0%
  • Reform the present house into a more comfortable one------------21.4%
  • Enter a public long-term care facilities----------------------------11.6%
  • Enter a private long-term care facilities--------------------------- 3.0%
  • Provided care at a child's house-----------------------------------5.8%
Ms. Watanabe implied that the above cited trends may change depending on how this care insurance system could be made available in terms of quantity and quality as well as the balance sheet of the system as a viable and sustainable one with the understanding and support of the society at large in the process of reviewing the current system in place.

She has stated that higher care levels are more liable to use facility services. As to care level 4 & 5, more than half of services are using facility services. According to Monthly

Report on Condition of Long-term Care Benefits (inspected in May,2003), care level of 4 and 5 who are more housed at institutional facilities such as Special nursing homes for the elderly and Health facilities for the elderly.

What is becoming one of the biggest issues in terms of long-term care services is how to cope with those elderly who are diagnosed as a demented (dementia). Ms. Watanabe stated that stated that (1) almost half of the elderly requiring long-term care have a symptom of dementia. The ratio among those in facilities amounts to nearly 80%, and (2) among seriously demented persons, "the elderly with dementia whose physical ability is not declining" amount to 250.000. 60% of those are living in their home.

 

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