Establishment of Rehabilitation-Providing System Focusing on the Improvement of Activities of Daily Living and Masticatory-Swallowing Function

November 2017–May 2018

Researcher:

Takeshi Takara, Medical Foundation Yoshinkai, Japan

As aging advances, societies experience an increased need for long-term care. In ASEAN member-states, rapid aging will take place in the near future. A concern widely shared by policymakers is that rapid aging will come to ASEAN before these countries’ strategies for aged societies are well established. To minimize the burden of long-term care in such aged ASEAN member-states, efforts must be made to prevent older people from falling into a status that requires long-term care, even after the onset of diseases that severely impair the activities of daily living (ADL).

Rehabilitation focused on improvement of ADL and masticatory-swallowing function is critical to reducing the need for long-term care. This study will reveal the current status of such rehabilitation in ASEAN member-states, with the objective of providing policy recommendations to ASEAN member-states that can be used in preparation for the coming aged societies.

Three workshops are being held under this study, attended by outstanding researchers, consultants, long-term care service providers and rehabilitation practitioners. Co-investigators are visiting Indonesia, the Philippines, and Viet Nam to collect information about rehabilitation focusing on ADL and masticatory-swallowing function through interviews with administrative organizations, care and medical facilities, and educational organizations. The topics of the interviews are on rehabilitation-providing personnel, the cost of rehabilitation, governmental policies, rehabilitation patients, facilities providing rehabilitation, evaluation of the results of rehabilitation, improvement of nutrition by masticatory-swallowing function, and previous research on rehabilitation. The results of field visits are to be reported on at the workshops and utilized for developing policy proposals through discussions at the workshops.

The final report of this study will include policy proposals and recommended programs to disseminate the concept of rehabilitation for ADL and masticatory-swallowing function and to prepare for the rapidly approaching aging of societies in ASEAN member-states.

David Monico