Taiwan-Japan cross-domain innovative cooperation on age cares, National Chung Cheng University plans to orchestrate an Intergenerational Symbiotic Park

Published on Jul 25 2019

Conforming with the trend of "intergenerational community", the Advanced Gerontological Expertise Institute (AGEI) of the National Chung Cheng University (CCU) made an announcement, in a press conference on the 25th of July 2019, to officially launch the project of "CCU Park of Teaching, Long-term-care, Healthy living, smart technology and Intergenerational symbiosis." AGEI signed a Taiwan-Japan cooperation agreement with Japanese Nara ELYSION Group to jointly put the project into practice. In the future, the project of this intergenerational symbiotic Park plans to set up its first demonstration unit in Chiayi County within three years, then gradually establishes its satellite units towards Yunlin-Chiayi-Tainan region. With the medical care experience from Japan and the teaching resource from CCU, the project hopes to provide a solution on the long-term care issues for the elderly, for the aged people to have a healthier and happier life.

At the press conference, Dr. Feng-Ming Hao, CCU vice president and General Convener of AGEI, with Takahashi Koji, president of Japanese Nara ELYSION Group and the consultant Nishino Satoshi from the company, signed the cooperation agreement. A significant number of representatives from governmental, industrial, academic and research circles also attended the ceremony to collectively declare the initiation of the project. CCU stated that the Nara ELYSION Group is a well-known Japanese corporation specializing at long-term care. The company not only provides living care services, but also operates rehabilitation hospitals, which holds a leading position in the global trend of integrated medical and living care services.

Dr. Hao revealed that the Intergenerational Symbiotic Park project will integrate the five major axes-- "long-term care teaching, intergenerational symbiosis, Taiwan-Japan joint venture, smart technology, and healthy living" into one practice. In addition to the introducing of high-quality and more user-friendly living care technology and models from Japan; the Park will also provide experimental fields for CCU teachers and students to practically apply and test some research results from age studies, in situ.

There are three stages to execute this Park project. Firstly, a demonstration unit located in Chiayi County will be set up within three years, while a residential building for elderly, a joint clinic, a senior learning base, a day care center, a health care center, and an age-friendly product exhibiting area, will all be included in one unit. Secondly, it is expected to further establish 8 to 10 similar satellite units in Yunlin County, Chiayi County and City areas, and Tainan City within 5 to 7 years. And at the third stage, the project would like to collect all the energy from each unit within 10 years of time to develop the Park into a “learning and researching city”, a place that is able to provide a complete service regarding to all living needs such as the medical equipment, medical care, assistive devices, smart technology, healthy dietary supplements or foods, etc., for the aged community.

CCU pointed out that since Taiwan has become one of the fastest-grown society into super-aged status in Asia, in terms of the health care system for the elderly, having professional medical intervention in place will be crucially important. Therefore, CCU invited the Taiwan Association of Long-Term Care Medicine to partake the symbiotic Park Project; both parties will be aiming at the obese muscle deficiency and muscle weakness syndrome that are commonly discovered in the elderly group, to jointly develop an age exercise prescription APP and a professional gym specifically designed for the elderly.

CCU president, Dr. Zhang-Hua Fong expressed that Chiayi County is the most aged area in terms of its population in Taiwan. CCU has long been concerned about the aging issues and investing huge amount of energy in age research. This time, the Taiwan-Japan cooperated project of building up the Intergenerational Symbiotic Park, will combine the humanitarian-oriented long-term care experience from Japan, together with the research energy from CCU and Taiwanese industries, in the hope to create a friendlier and healthier living environment for the elderly in Taiwan.

"It is not to turn the welfare into an industry, but to transform the industry toward a more welfarablized direction." Mr. Takahashi, president of the Nara ELYSION Group, explained that Japanese Government launched long-term insurance in year 2000, and it took 10 years for the Japanese industry to realize the aging changes in the community and adjust its direction accordingly to establish the long-term care infrastructure. Thus, it is a good opportunity for a place like Chiayi to become a long-term care role-model, if it can manage its self-evident aged status to the right direction. Mr. Takahashi believes that the way to revitalize the Japanese experience is not only to coping it but also to improving it to suit local characteristics, allowing Taiwan to learn as much as possible in the shortest time and create a style of care service of its own kind.

Probably benefited from its location at the oldest place in the country, in terms of the aging status of its population, CCU has published more than 300 age-related research findings in the past 20 years. Recently, CCU has even set up the Advanced Gerontological Expertise Institute, and through the Higher Education Sprout Project of the Ministry of Education, to establish the Center for Innovative Research on Aging Society (CIRAS), to help deal with the cumulating aging issues. CCU stresses on the integration of scientific research and social practice, and successively promoting the collaborated movement between industry and academia, such as the formations of Social Enterprises and Senior Consumer Cooperatives. CCU with its practical action expects to create a much better and age-friendly society in the near future.