Yuko Suda is a professor in the department of sociology, Toyo University, Tokyo, Japan. She earned her Ph.D. degree of Health Sociology, from the University of Tokyo. 1993-1994 Abe Fellow. 2007 exchanging professor of the University of Missouri St. Louis, USA.
Her research interest is related to formal and informal care for seniors. She currently completed a 7-year panel survey which followed more than 300 nonprofit and for-profit organizations that provided services under the Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) system. She also served as a co-principal researcher of the US-Japan LTCI survey which followed about 1500 LTCI service recipients and their families for ten years, organizing twelve researchers participating both from the US and Japan. She has been serving as a member of the Science Council of Japan since 2012.
Her recent publications include: Suda, Y., & Guo, B. (2011). Dynamics between nonprofit and for-profit providers operating under the Long-Term Care Insurance system in Japan. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 40(1), 79–106 (refereed). / Suda, Y. (2011) For-profit and nonprofit dynamics and providers’ failures: The Long-Term Care Insurance System in Japan. Public Management Review, 13(2): 21-42 (refereed). / Suda, Y. and Takahashi, R. (2007) Geriatrics and gerontology in Japan. In, J. Morley,(Ed.), Principles and Practice of Geriatric Medicine 4th. Edition: 1935-1946. John & Wiley Sons, USA. Her recent book, “Taijin service no minei-ka” (Privatazation of public human services) ,which was written based on the survey of LTCI service organizations, received awards from the Japan Association for Nonprofit Organization and also from the Japan NPO Research Association and the Research Association for Studies of Welfare Society.
Caring aging population and its trickling effects: Experience of Japan
As a response to the rapid increase of the old population, Japan introduced the Long-Term Care Insurance(LTCI) system in 2000. LTCI is a governmental program through which a wide range of services are provided, such as nursing homes, nurse visit and/or personal care services in residential settings.
Once introduced, LTCI in turn influences society. LTCI allows for-profit organizations to participate as service organizations, along with nonprofit organizations which had primarily provided public long-term care services prior to the introduction of LTCI. Competitions among new and traditional service organizations promote innovations in care. Organizations also transform themselves as they engage in service provision, such that for-profit service organizations develop nonprofit-like characteristics by controlling profit-seeking activities and emphasizing benefit for their clients. Family roles are changing as well. Traditionally, caring for old parents was considered to be the children’s responsibility. Under LTCI, 90% of the cost for services is paid by insurance while younger family members coordinate with LTCI service organizations and a care manager, a semi-professional consultant introduced by LTCI to design a LTCI care plan.
The way people age changes, which reflects the changes in society. Successful aging used to mean a life surrounded by younger family members. The notion partly remains, however, old people increasingly appreciate independence with the support of public services and cultivate joys in social activities outside family life, such as community college for old people. In the meantime, prolonged longevity increases the use of assistive devices which include hospital beds, hearing aids, wheel chairs, and so forth. “Old people are cyborgs in contemporary life, blending machine and biology in both their personal identities and their relations to the external world” (Joyce and Loe, 2010:171)1.