An overview of systems for providing integrated and comprehensive care for older people in Japan

Junko Sano, Yuzuki Hirazawa, Kohei Komamura, Shohei Okamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


As longevity occurs, people encounter various risks associated with ageing, including economic uncertainty and health issues. Therefore, in addition to extending healthy life expectancy, it is crucial to create an environment where older people can live better even when their intrinsic capacity declines. Additionally, integrated and comprehensive care for older adults is needed to maintain their functional ability and well-being at higher levels. This review provides an overview of the systems and initiatives in Japan, a forerunner of population ageing that supports the quality of life of older people and summarises their remaining challenges. In Japan, with support for access to necessary care available from social welfare councils and community comprehensive support centres, various health and welfare services are provided to respond to the needs of people with different levels of intrinsic capacity, including medical care, preventive care, long-term care, adult guardianship systems, pensions, and social assistance. Nevertheless, there are challenges for the systems, including the gap between life and healthy life expectancy, moderate accumulation and decumulation of retirement assets, lack of human and financial resources for care, and user-unfriendliness and non-covered needs of the current system. Therefore, integrated and comprehensive care beyond health and long-term care is needed to maintain the well-being of older adults, even with their intrinsic capacity declining.

Original languageEnglish
Article number81
JournalArchives of Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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