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Many countries continue to promote aging-friendly transformation (international perspective)

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As many countries enter the aging society, the phenomenon of elderly people living alone and empty nests is becoming more and more common, and the problems encountered by the elderly in their daily life have increasingly attracted social attention. With the help of science and technology, many countries continue to promote the aging renovation of residences, nursing homes, and communities with refined standards, providing a safer and more convenient environment for the elderly and making their lives more comfortable.

South Korea–

Carry out the construction of an age-friendly city


When a "dangerous" warning appeared on an elderly person's Internet of Things monitoring screen, Mr. Pei, a life support worker for the elderly in Seongbuk District, Seoul, South Korea, rushed to the elderly person's home immediately and sent the elderly person who fell in the bathroom to the hospital. . The receiving doctor said that if he came a few minutes later, he might have missed the prime time for first aid.

Since 2018, Seoul has begun to promote the implementation of the "Safety Management Plan for Elderly Vulnerable Groups", installing IoT devices in the homes of the elderly, and taking care of and serving the elderly in their daily lives through non-face-to-face methods. Relevant personnel can monitor the data collected from the elderly's home in real time through the Internet of Things devices. Once there is no movement of the human body within a certain period of time, or when there are abnormal conditions such as temperature, humidity, and light, the system will issue a warning. The situation will be confirmed immediately and countermeasures will be taken. Seoul plans to expand the program's coverage to 16,000 households by 2025 from the current 12,500 households.

In recent years, Seoul has continued to promote the construction of an age-friendly city. In order to improve the life satisfaction of the elderly, Seoul formulated the "Comprehensive Welfare Plan for the Elderly" last year, and will invest 1.4 trillion won (1 US dollar is about 1,361 won) by 2025.


In terms of health care, Seoul will further increase the number of day care centers to provide targeted nutrition management services for elderly patients with chronic diseases. Seoul also plans to improve video surveillance management standards in elderly care facilities to prevent elder abuse in care facilities. In terms of leisure life, in order to help the elderly bridge the digital divide and make it easier for the elderly to use digital devices, Seoul will install free wireless networks in more nursing homes, and strengthen digital education for the elderly, offering free courses and providing door-to-door teaching Wait. Seoul will also continue to increase the number of public nursing facilities, build "elderly parks", set up "priority parking spaces for the elderly" in public facilities, and set speed limits in traditional markets, intersections and other places where the elderly often appear or where the road conditions are complicated "Old People's Sanctuary" and so on.


Focus on upgrading and renovating ordinary houses


Germany is one of the countries with the highest degree of aging in the European Union. Most of the elderly live in ordinary houses. Therefore, it has become the focus of the German government's aging work to carry out aging renovations on ordinary houses and create the necessary conditions for the elderly to live at home. advance direction.

The German government provides special housing renovation subsidies, German statutory long-term care insurance can reimburse up to 4,000 euros per person for renovation funds, and KfW provides financial subsidies and low-interest loans for renovations. From 2014 to 2018, KfW supported the aging renovation of about 190,000 residential units. According to the bank's calculations, compared with living in a nursing home, the elderly living in a house that has undergone age-appropriate renovation can reduce the pension expenditure by 9,600 euros per year.

Germany attaches great importance to the standards of residential renovation projects related to aging, and puts forward very detailed requirements for renovation, and has made regulations on the specific size, quality, color and quantity of doors, windows, ramps, stairs, and emergency equipment, etc., and fully takes care of them. to the living needs of the elderly.


There is such a remodeled typical building near the reporter’s residence in Berlin. The exterior shows the historical features of a century ago, but the interior of the building shows humanistic care everywhere: the entrance steps have been transformed into gentle slopes, and some have also been equipped with electric lifts. The stairs are equipped with handrails and anti-slip strips suitable for the height of the elderly to prevent the elderly from falling and getting injured; the originally narrow and dark corridors have been widened to more than 1.2 meters, and voice-activated lights and Foot lamps provide lighting for the elderly at any time.

In the interior of the residence, relevant German institutions have designed toilets and washbasins that can be automatically raised and lowered to facilitate wheelchair users. The kitchen has also undergone a similar transformation. Both the cabinet countertop and the trash can have been adjusted to the height suitable for wheelchair users. At the same time, a stove monitoring device with automatic fire-off function and a one-button alarm device have been installed.



Smart devices protect the safety of the elderly

There are more than 17,000 people in Arashiyama Town, Saitama Prefecture, Japan, and the elderly population over 65 years old accounts for 1/3 of the total population. In recent years, Arashiyama Town has actively promoted the aging-appropriate renovation of nursing homes, and is committed to creating a barrier-free living environment for the elderly.

"Being able to see the bedridden status of all the elderly from the computer is something I have never heard of before the renovation and upgrading." The head nurse of Arashiyama Garden, a nursing home in Arashiyama Town, said with emotion. Lanshanyuan was opened in 1996 and is one of the longest-running elderly care institutions in the local area. It has 100 beds and has received more than 80 elderly people in need of care.


How to prevent the elderly from falling and falling off the bed is one of the problems faced by Lanshan Garden. Suzui Tomomi introduced that in the past, Arashiyama Court placed carpet-type sensors in front of the beds. When the elderly got out of bed and stood on the carpet, the sensors could sense and notify the nurses on duty. However, this method could not detect the risk of the elderly turning over and falling in advance. In order to more accurately grasp the status of the elderly lying in bed, turning over, and getting up, Lanshan Garden decided to carry out intelligent transformation and upgrading of related equipment, and adopted the "Intelligent Sensing System for Nursing Beds".

The system installs load-bearing sensors on the four supporting legs of the nursing bed, which can continuously sense the force of the supporting legs and transmit the relevant data to the computer in the nursing station. The associated software can intelligently analyze 8 different states of the elderly, such as lying still, turning over, and sitting up, according to changes in force, and make predictions about possible falls and falls, and issue early warnings. After the system is put into use, caregivers can receive early warnings when the elderly frequently turn over and sit up independently, and arrive in time before they get out of bed alone, which greatly reduces the risk of falls.

Toshio Nakanishi, head of Arashiyama Garden Operations, believes that the intelligent transformation and upgrading of elderly care equipment not only ensures the safety of the elderly, but also virtually realizes the "barrier-free living environment" of the elderly. In addition, through a period of data accumulation and intelligent analysis, the system can grasp the personalized habits and rhythms of each elderly person's daily life, such as when to get up and when to go to the toilet. The staff can provide more targeted and comfortable nursing services in a timely manner, minimize disturbance to the lives of the elderly, and achieve "psychological barrier-free" for the elderly.


(Newspaper from Seoul, Berlin, Tokyo)

"People's Daily" (version 15, November 22, 2022)

(Editors in charge: Hu Yongqiu, Yuan Bo)


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