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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 May 29 - June 4  > Majority of dementia patients’ families dissatisfied with public nursing-care insurance program
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2019 May 29 - June 4 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Majority of dementia patients’ families dissatisfied with public nursing-care insurance program

May 31, 2019
As the Abe government keeps making cutbacks in the public nursing-care insurance program, a nationwide group of dementia patients and their families has released the results of its fact-finding survey on the program which shows that more than half of the respondents expressed dissatisfaction.

According to the survey by the Alzheimer’s Association Japan, among those who take care of their family members with dementia, a majority said that they had “trouble” with or felt “discontent” about the nursing-care insurance program. Some respondents said that the provision of care services is based on the one-size-fits-all approach so there is no flexibility. Others said that service fees are expensive, and that official assessments of users’ need for nursing-care services are often inappropriate.

The survey also asked about adverse effects from the Abe government’s policy of forcing nursing-care service users to shoulder a larger share of service costs. The Abe government made revisions so that users who earn an income will pay 20% to 30% of the costs instead of the regular rate of 10%. The government also reviewed financial support for costs of rooms and meals in nursing-care facilities.

Around 40% of those taking care of their families said that they already faced financial problems due to the adverse changes made in the nursing-care insurance program. Some said, for example, that they do not use care services very often because of the increase in service fees. Even among those who have yet to experience financial difficulties, many expressed concerns over a future increase in service fees.

Based on the survey results, the Alzheimer’s Association Japan drew up a written demand, titled, “A petition for a society where dementia patients and their families can live without anxieties”, and submitted it to relevant government ministries.

Past related articles:
> Gov’t will impose heavier burdens on low-income elderly while setting largest-ever military buildup budget [December 14, 2018]
> A record number of people face seizure of properties due to arrears in nursing-care insurance premiums [July 31, 2018]
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