Promoting Elderly Volunteers and Long-Term Care Policy Reform: Through an International Comparative Analysis Between Nederland and Japan

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 6:30 PM
Room: Booth 40
Oral Presentation
Daisuke WATANABE , Faculty of Humanities, Seikei University, Musashino-shi, Japan
The aim of the presentation is to examine how the elderly join volunteers in home and residential care setting.

In Nederland and Japan, expenditure on LTC for the elderly is a matter of immediate concern due to rapid demographic aging. Nederland is the first country which introduced a national health insurance scheme (AWBZ) for covering LTC services from 1968. Japan also implemented public LTC Insurance since 2000. Nowadays, in both countries, LTC policies need serious improvements in order to react increasing expenditure for LTC services and keep quality of these services. The promoting and utilizing elderly volunteers in care setting is focused as one solution of the LTC reforming.

Based on semi-structured interviews to staffs of volunteer organizations, elderly volunteers and public officials in Leiden, Nederland and Yokohama, Japan, I would like to show (1) features of long-term care (LTC) policy reforms on promoting elderly volunteers and (2) elderly volunteers’ minds under the reform. Both Leiden and Yokohama adopt new innovative LTC policies to work in closer cooperation with LTC service providers.

What follows are the three observations. Firstly, we shows the different goals of utilizing volunteer at a policy level. The goal in Nederland is to supplement and alternate current LTC services. In contrast, Japanese goal is care prevention of volunteers. Therefore, what volunteers do in care setting are totally different between two countries. Secondly, work experiences before retirement have effects on their volunteer experiences, and provide a broad frame of reference for their worlds after retirement. Thirdly, only Japanese volunteers emphasize that volunteering create new social bond in local community. On the other hand, Dutch volunteers tend to think volunteer work is important but personal work, and put little emphasis on pragmatic purposes. The differences is based on the difference of LTC regimes between two countries.