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Translational Studies for Inclusive Society
"Conducting an Elderly People Support Initiative Based on “Research on Predictive Care Focused on Social Inclusion”"

Writer: TSUCHIDA, Noriaki (College of Letters, Professor)   terms: 2014 3

Elderly people support project

Elderly people support (cognitive rehabilitation)

 Seven years have passed since we began conducting elderly people support initiatives using the university as a local resource. The name of the project has shifted from “Elderly people project” to “Elderly people support team” to “Predictive support team”. Here I would like to share some of the personal thoughts and feelings I have had in the midst of carrying out this initiative over these past seven years, and reflect on the distinctive characteristics of this project that made use of the university.

To begin with, what were the distinguishing characteristics of our elderly people support project? I think they are to be found in its “organization”. The project was created mainly by Professor Hajime Yoshida and Professor Ichiro Okawa (currently a professor at the University of Tsukuba). Its management, however, was the responsibility of a group referred to as the “management committee”. On the staffs’ side they obtained external funding and played a supervisory role. It is surely not an exaggeration to say that the maintenance/development of this project would have been inconceivable without the members of the management committee. The way the six or seven members of the committee functioned as its “linchpin” has been very important. 

The role of the management committee

 There were many talented individuals among the members of this management committee. Most of the main members had attended university or graduate school after having already entered the workforce and held doctorates in psychology or human services. They are currently active as university lecturers, clinical psychologists or nursing care certification committee members, public health nurses, and city council members.
 In a sense, this arrangement of personnel may have been pivotal. These management committee members understood the intentions of the staffs and at the same time were able to accommodate the wishes of the participants and volunteers. They truly took charge of the project and were essential to its maintenance and development.

To make use of the university as a local resource

 Looking back at our activities like this, I feel as though what was needed in order to make use of the university as a local resource has become clear. When you get right down to it, the answer is “people”. Of course obtaining an external budget and having a “place” provided within the university were necessary conditions, but they were not sufficient; with only these the project would have ended as a one-shot affair. How it cultivates human resources that will become “linchpins”: I think this is where the main point of a project making use of the university as a local resource lies.
In our initiative too, although we had an incredible array of participants to begin with, we have also worked to cultivate their successors. We are increasingly focused on this major task going forward.

Video of our activities

  • Please click the link below for video of our activities based on footage taken by the university.


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