Quiz: Is There Enough Nursing Home in Japan?




The number of seniors in Japan has been increasing. The problem is that the number of birth rate is decreasing.


As seniors get older, some of them would live with their children or relatives, whereas others would live in a nursing home.


Japan faces a lot of problems due to increase in seniors and one of them is regarding nursing homes.




What is a Nursing Home?

Nursing home is called Roujin Home (老人ホーム) in Japanese. Roujin means seniors.

Some elderly live in nursing home because they need assistant for their daily lives. For example, some might need help for getting up and having meals. Staff at nursing home would help the elderly in a daily basis.

Some nursing homes have special events for residents so that they won’t feel bored and they can interact with other seniors and staff.


In this article, I’m going to discuss public nursing home as a large number of seniors is waiting to move into public ones.





What are the Problems?

There are 3 problems in regards to public nursing homes in Japan.




1. Short of Facility

The first one is insufficient facilities. The number of the elderly who want to move into nursing home is increasing. However, the number of nursing home is not really increasing.

According to data in 2014, 520,000 seniors are on waitlist. That is, they want to move into public senior’s home but nothing is available at this moment.

The number is more significant in cities as it’s more difficult to build new facilities in cities.


2. Short of Staff

The number of people who support seniors is simply not enough. There are 2 reasons for this.

The first reason is salary. Those staff want to help seniors so that they have taken courses or exams to work as a certified care worker. It’s not easy to be a care worker, however, their salary is very low. Considering amount of time and efforts they spend, it’s not enough at all. The average of annual salary is 3,160,000 yen it’s less than 230,000 yen monthly.


Another reason is inadequate day off and vacation. You need off and vacation if you work hard. But care workers who work in nursing home sometimes might have to cover co-worker’s shift, or they might have to work extra hours because facility doesn’t have enough staff.

They will feel very exhausted and cannot continue working as a care worker.


3. Short of Money

This is a problem seniors face. They want to move into a public nursing home because it’s cheaper than private one.

They want to share a room with other seniors because it’s cheaper than private room.


In fact, it’s easier to move into private rooms and private nursing homes. However, the cost would go up and that makes seniors to hesitate.

For instance, if seniors live in a shared room, monthly fee is 80,000 yen. If they live in a private room, monthly fee would be 130,000 yen. 50,000 yen difference is huge.


Therefore, those seniors who don’t have enough saving want to choose cheaper places.



The ideal plan is to increase the number of public nursing homes. Nevertheless, it’s not easy to build facilities in convenient city area.

As taxpayers, young Japanese need to recognize the importance of nursing homes and systems to support the elderly.


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