To look into the best aging practices and the country providing them, it makes sense to look somewhere with the oldest population in the world.
Prior to the 2000 millennium shift, Japan’s publicly funded social care was nonexistent (Curry, N, 2012); similar to China, with caring for the elderly left as a family’s responsibility. Even though China is facing a more acute issue with its rapidly aging population compared to Japan’s gradual aging, similarities can be drawn and lessons could be learned (The World Bank).
Japan’s long-term care insurance, offering social care to those aged 65+, is part-funded by compulsory premiums for all those over the age of 40, and part-funded by national and local taxation. With a slowly aging population, the Japanese government has had time to implement such legislation with success. But the successes with the care insurances in Japan are not the entire answer. By placing the full burden on government spiraling uptake in services and costs have caused the government to increase co-payments from 10% – 20% and continued unexpected pressure (Holder, H, 2014).
The UK government is following Japan’s lead in some aspects of social care for the aging population, but also believes it’s not the sole responsibility of the government. Instigating support from the private sector has not only reduced pressure on the government, but also created better service integration across sectors.
For China to find a solution to the aging population it must continue to learn from other countries such as Japan, the UK and others who already have the systems in place. They must encourage an inclusive approach to deal with a problem area that sooner or later will affect the entire population.
-Curry, N, 2012, Low cost and high quality integrated care: what can we learn from Japan?, The Guardian, Viewed 04 November 2016 <https://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2012/jun/11/integrated-care-learn-from-japan>
-Holder, H, 2014, Japan’s solution to providing care for an aging population, Viewed 06 November 2016, The Guardian 2014, <https://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2014/mar/27/japan-solution-providing-care-ageing-population>
-The World Bank, The World Banks Open Data, Viewed 09 November 2016, <http://data.worldbank.org/>