A community for all ages: a Japanese project

An older woman stands at the front of her shop in the Japanese town of Nikko.  A community for all ages.
Older woman stands in front of her shop.

At last, a researcher has worked out that segregated retirement living is not what people want. Professor Hiroko Akiyama has come up with an alternative. Yes, a community for all ages. She explained the idea at the recent Australian Association of Gerontology conference. The concept is not just about housing. It’s also about employment, transportation and community services.

The goal of the project is to support older people to remain healthy, active, and working if they want to. This means redesigning of community services and infrastructure. 

Transportation is a key issue and they are working with Toyota on alternative means of transportation. They are also working with Mitsubishi on assistive technologies. 

The article in Australian Ageing Agenda eventually gets to the real issue. Japan is running out of workers and they need to keep people working into their later years. Over the next decade, more than 8 million workers are expected to retire. However, for those who want to keep working, the supports will be appreciated. After all, work is not always about income. There is evidence that it has positive effects on those who want to work. 

See also a short article on Japan’s longevity challenge.

The video below is a 45 minute lecture by Professor Akiyama from a previous event.