COVID-19 and Long-Term Care Policy for Older People in Japan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Japan’s initial response to COVID-19 was similar to that of the US. However, the number of deaths in Japan has remained very low. Japan also stands out for the relatively low incidence of viral transmission in Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCFs) compared to both European countries and the United States. We argue that Japan’s institutional decision to lockdown Long-Term Care facilities as early as mid-February–weeks earlier than most European countries and the US–contributed to lowering the number of deaths in LTCFs. We highlight a few lessons from the Japanese experience: (i) the presence of hierarchically organized government agencies whose sole missions are elderly care; (ii) the presence of effective communication channels between LTCFs and the regulatory authorities; and (iii) the well-established routine protocols of prevention and control in LTCFs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Aging and Social Policy
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Japan
  • long-term care
  • nursing homes
  • public health interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Gerontology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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