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27% of Japan's nursing homes face bankruptcy due to price hikes: survey

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This is a big problem. And old people vote.

18 ( +26 / -8 )

Past generations in Japan were the ones that sacrificed much to build Japan to what it is today.

The elderly should be well looked after but they aren’t being-scandalous!

16 ( +24 / -8 )

Some 27 percent of nursing homes and related service facilities in Japan may go bankrupt or shut down operations in a few years if soaring prices and utility costs continue to put pressure on them, according to a survey by nursing care groups.

Sounds like they are paving the way for price hikes in anticipation of the masses of boomers preparing to enter homes.

followed by withdrawing savings and reducing or forgoing salary increases and bonuses.

The workers making barely minimum living wages are the fall guys and girls again.

Lot of these homes are run by megacorps like Benesse with their tentacles in real estate and education and driving down wages for workers in a race to the bottom across sectors as their prime profit strategy.

21 ( +35 / -14 )

Nursing care facilities are not able to pass along cost increases to consumers

Are they offering something like a fixed price for life or something? Seems very generous if so.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

according to a survey by nursing care groups.

I have the impression they are asking for government funds.

Also, it seems like it's a very lightly regulated industry, just saying.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

Abe's philosophy was to have the family take care of the elderly. I'm sure those LDP folks feel the same way. Care for the elderly is intertwined with the low birth rate in Japan, and this problem has been festering for decades. Rich folks can afford to place their elderly in resort style homes or have personal carers in their residence, not so for the rest of us.

22 ( +29 / -7 )

The elderly should be well looked after but they aren’t being-scandalous!

I would say that the elderly are fairly looked after. Japanese companies typically pay, promote, remunerate based on age/seniority.

The small business on the other hand typically don't get good will when they hand over a family business to offsprings, not exactly policy mismanagement, more family dealings.

This inflation green shoot should be gradually making its way into the system so as to avoid shock. Time will tell, salary increases is not a bad thing for Japanese workers, regardless of industry.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

The survey found that over 90 percent of facilities have been affected by price increases.

Ah yes, the small percentage that have no problem with price increases due to the slush fund they are receiving. Bet their clients are ex-bureaucrats and government connected company heads. As per usual, the rest shall burn.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Unleash the debt-restructuring robots!

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

It's better they being bankrupt rather than forcing caregiver to do hardwork with less pay or even no overtime being paid at all

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

I have a friend that works in a nursing home. They are short staffed and people are quitting like crazy. The pay is not very good and they often have to work a 12 hour night shift. They can't afford to pay the nurses a higher salary because the doctors (who are at home sleeping during the night shifts) and management (family members in most cases) are paying themselves comfortably.

Even in the educational institution I work at, teachers have not been given a raise and tuition has not increased for the wealthy families that send their children to the institution. Many businesses are using the "inflation" excuse to fill their pockets.

15 ( +22 / -7 )

I personally know several ‘foreigners’ working in the care sector. Conditions and pay are so low that Japanese avoid this industry

1 ( +19 / -18 )

This is why you read stories in the media of children murdering their elderly parents. The aged care facilities in Japan are rubbish so parents end up living with their children putting pressure on marriages etc.

-6 ( +12 / -18 )

Elderly on fixed income must be taking big hits with all the inflation / stagflation. Nenkin is stretched as it is!

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Elderly on fixed income must be taking big hits with all the inflation / stagflation. Nenkin is stretched as it is!

No kidding, this is a scary thought to think how useless my nenkin will be by the time I need to retire.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Self employed (small business too) are on a different pension plan.

It is currently ¥66,000 per month, per person. Despite decades paying into it. The law changed a decade ago about company pensions for the wife of husband dies. Before she wife got very little.

Self employed were suppose to have saved their own money, paid off the house and sitting on a safe full of cash come retirement, pension was just a top up. Didn’t work that way once the bubble popped in early 1990’s.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

this industry is know for its low end salaries and to employ many asian cheap end labor force.still they are on "brink of collapse"?

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

In theory, a single doctor and his wife should be able to take care of a dozen seniors. Nowadays, it takes 3+ nurses and a few secretaries because doctors don't want to do the messy work and they want to live a comfortable lifestyle (big house, fast cars, expensive vacations).

5 ( +8 / -3 )

And as a result, these facilities may need to explore other strategies, such as finding operational efficiencies or advocating for policy changes, to address the impact of cost increases on their business.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

my wife use to work in a care facility, she was luckily a fulltime worker so her salary was pretty good,

it wasnt until you added up her monthly hrs divided into her salary that her hourly rate was below the minimum wage. once a week each staff member had to do nightshift, starting at 10am not getting home until around 12pm the next day, having to stay awake all night with only short naps 1-2 hrs during the night.

60-70 hr week

She looked like a zombie the next day, thats just not good for your health, she now works for me at a lower salary but doing a fraction the number of hrs. being the bosses wife, unofficially the boss also LOL, she can work whenever she wants as long as the work gets done, take a nap whenever she wants. her hourly rate is probably double what she got from her last job

11 ( +15 / -4 )

The LDP-led government could spend more public money on elderly care support...but it has other priorities, like subsidies for major corporations that donate to its campaigns and encourage their employees to vote for LDP candidates, big pork-barrel projects like Maglev, and of course building up the military to prepare for fighting China over some rocks.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

@2 Year Old

Do you use any overpaying plan ? It give you tax break.

If not you should. Obviously there is Ideco (not for US citizen)

The less strendeous on budget with good return regarding contribution but still low amount should be : fuka nenkin : you pay 400yens more a month then you will get 200yens more by year for every month you have paid it. It is not much money but from 24month of paiement, you start breaking even. Be careful, if you have Idecoo, you need to cut that paiement out of the maximum for tax break (normal max is 68000, with fuka nenkin, it become 67000). If you choose bulk payment of pension, you get a reduction, which an be enough to cover cost of fuka.

If can not have Ideco, there is nenkin kikin. As fuka, it share the same tax break that Ideco.

I would greatly suggest you to start looking for improving your pension payment if you plan to go for retirejapan or so.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Need some out of the box solutions for this one. Bottom line is that you cant expect to pay people a pittance and get them to do this kind of labour intensive work.

Maybe the government could introduce a scheme to get the recently-retired, or even high school graduates to help out. Recent retirees could earn discounts for when they need to use the elderly care facilities in the future, and high school graduates could earn a diploma, or receive preferential treatment when entering the workforce/college/university. Without community support it feels like these services are doomed to fail.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

In theory, a single doctor and his wife should be able to take care of a dozen seniors.

There is a difference between a clinic and a nursing home.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Can only imagine how bad it will be when I need one.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Kishida just gave 2%+ GDP to US arms dealers. This is a enough to make these places free to old tax paying citizens.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

The government created this problem, as it encouraged people to open day care facilities privately, with funding assistance from the government.

Some 16.2 percent chose staff reductions and suspension of new hiring, according to the survey.

And this is even scarier, as there are not enough care workers as it is, and even less means potentially more problems.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In theory, a single doctor and his wife 

21st century. Women are also doctors.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

In theory, a single doctor and his wife should be able to take care of a dozen seniors. Nowadays, it takes 3+ nurses and a few secretaries because doctors don't want to do the messy work and they want to live a comfortable lifestyle (big house, fast cars, expensive vacations).

What world are you living in? This isnt about "theory" but reality, and your assumption here is totally wrong!

You don't take your car to the dentist to get it fixed, so why in the hell do you assume a doctor is qualified to "take care of a dozen seniors"? Let alone his untrained wife!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Nursing homes should be the greatest priority of any government (along with education), Humanity is beyond economy and infrastructure.

Unless you've actually been to a nursing home, very few people have any clue about how their last days on earth will be.

Ideally everyone was supposed to live and go in peace surrounded by their kids and grandkids, but in reality so few people can afford that, especially in Japan where houses are relatively small and everyone flees to Tokyo.

Last time we visited my wife's aunt in a nursing home we realized she couldnt open her eyes because the staff was so busy on that day they had no time to clean her properly.

Imagine waking up in the morning and not being able to open your eyes unless someone wipe them clean for you. I can't pretend that wasnt traumatizing.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

What world are you living in? This isnt about "theory" but reality, and your assumption here is totally wrong!

You don't take your car to the dentist to get it fixed, so why in the hell do you assume a doctor is qualified to "take care of a dozen seniors"? Let alone his untrained wife!

I'm saying that no one would die if a doctor and (husband/wife) had to take care of a dozen seniors. No bankruptcy. Just like how (untrained) children take care of their elderly parents with an occasional visit to the hospital or clinic. I realize that nowadays you have to have a huge staff to run a facility (security, cook, cleaning staff, nurses, secretary, management etc) but in theory (and probably a reality in many countries) there are simply people doing things that aren't keeping people alive.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Money being wasted on a border clash between Russia and Ukraine is better spent here on the citizens of Japan.

Kishida needs not be Bidens yes man in Japan!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I'm saying that no one would die if a doctor and (husband/wife) had to take care of a dozen seniors. No bankruptcy. Just like how (untrained) children take care of their elderly parents with an occasional visit to the hospital or clinic.

If your logic is that anyone can basically take care of the elderly because untrained people regularly look after their own parents, then why not just put a few oldies in every office building around the country? I mean, the big companies could take dozens at a time, and the hundreds of employees could all be on a rota of care duties. I'm sure office Taro or Hana would love to get out of the office for a few hours to make a trip over to a clinic with their assigned oldies.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

In today's high tech, high paced world, the elderly are seen by politicians as a burden, they produce nothing yet cost so much to care for. Sadly this is the way our world is moving, almost all countries are having the same problems, and what makes it even worse is that most care homes are run big companies with little or no over sight from the government. This is slightly off topic, but I would be interested to hear what an AI computers answer to this would be.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

In today's high tech, high paced world, the elderly are seen by politicians as a burden,

Particularly but not exclusively.

Immigrants, the capital disadvantaged and precarious workers are all seen as human resource externalities by modern financial capital.

This is what these companies are aiming at.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/when-private-equity-takes-over-a-nursing-home

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

"Nursing care facilities are not able to pass along cost increases to consumers in the same way as other companies, and this has a significant impact on their business," said an official 

As a customer, I would like to be offered a price, rather than be told that my provider was going to shut down without offering me an option.

The people running these businesses had better learn about business was fast, or someone else will just take their place.

Customers of these places can often afford it. In recent times I keep hearing of Japanese people working on the loopholes in the inheritance tax, so it’s clear that there is money out there that could be spent here, rather than siphoned off by government or tax advisory businesses.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The only solution is at the other end of the age pyramid. It all stands or falls with newborn children, isn’t that more than obvious? Less childbirths, less well-educated kids and students, those fewer also invent, develop and produce less in number and quality and competitive on the global markets, that brings less money and taxes for lesser companies and more aging society and then of course there’s no more senior care possible, not to talk of higher wages and successful business models in aging care. The whole of the less incoming money is needed to keep the main sectors and infrastructure halfway running, no money , staff or resources left for nursing homes, either for kids or seniors. That’s becoming a hyper acceleration spiral into nothing, for sure.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All eyes are on Japan as it’s aging society is a window onto what most developed countries are going to face in their near future. Japan has also known what it is up against with its demographic cliff for the good part of thirty years. They say a good way to judge a nation or a culture is how it treats its most vulnerable. That’s where the soul of the nation is revealed.

Let’s see if the solutions arise, because well, where there’s a will there’s a way!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is a enough to make these places free to old tax paying citizens.

Free as in beer?

And how will attractive wages be determined and set?

And what about the staggering 40 trillion of debt that the government racks up each year? There is a lot of spending to be slashed for there to be “enough”.

Nursing homes should be the greatest priority of any government (along with education), 

Aren’t those things too important to be entrusted to government? I don’t have so much faith in the competence of government in many areas, let alone those.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

They said AI and robots would take care of everything!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Just the beginning when there will be less and less worforce for more and more seniors in need.

Who wants to take care of you when you have no kid ?

I see that often : one child will not be able to support him/herself 2 parents in need, two somehow, three most of the time ok.

Did you think robots would do the job ?

You should watch more scifi to see that none of that would happen.

As for AI, it will decide it is no cost efficient to sustain too many seniors in need for care...

Money will be the ultimate selection if you live long or not. Better be very rich in Japan if you have not even children.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The rich country strikes again! Dawg forbid they should actually shell out some money to subsidize aged care facilities.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Think about how company bankruptcy works.

Customers of pay in advance. In the case of nursing homes this often many years in advance. One nursing home in my area, as an example, charges about ¥30 million to move in and pay ten years in advance. This is just an example, but there must be many similar cases.

What happens when such a place goes bankrupt? The directors of the company get paid in full, shareholders and tax departments get a claim their share.

The old people, the customers, get nothing. In fact they lose everything.

I suspect many nursing home may go bankrupt and get bought by a new company, which in actuality may just be a reformed, refinanced version of the old one without all the responsibilities of the old one. Should we call the the English school chain principle?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Elderly care facilities should be fully funded by the gov't. If gov'ts have enough money for war and the support of such from other countries then they have enough to take care of it's people who require aid now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is the sort of headline which makes you realise growing old in Japan is not going to work out well. Imagine it will be worse for gaijin too, unless you're very wealthy.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Energy and basic need prices are controlled by the gov’s via regulations and people should stop voting for these guys. But their self inflicted pain the Japanese love to inflict upon themselves they will continue to pay. With electric, petroleum, telecommunications all showing record profits while the average subservient worker has less and less. Japan is just hurting itself. When these old folks places close, when they don’t have adequate staff that are trained properly, it will be too late sadly for the average person.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I'm saying that no one would die if a doctor and (husband/wife) had to take care of a dozen seniors. No bankruptcy. 

It's not a doctors job! And worse than bankruptcy, the system would fall apart. Your "idea" is not realistic and creates more problems, without solving any.

But put that aside for a second, there aren't enough doctors already, and you suggest that they start looking after elderly, and stop doing their jobs. That's ludicrous.

Who is going to do the job of the doctors? Your vet?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Imagine it will be worse for gaijin too, unless you're very wealthy.

Yes, I agree. And even if you are wealthy, once you get to the point of dementia even your money won't save you and you will be preyed upon.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It is currently ¥66,000 per month, per person. Despite decades paying into it. The law changed a decade ago about company pensions for the wife of husband dies. Before she wife got very little.

Self employed were suppose to have saved their own money, paid off the house and sitting on a safe full of cash come retirement, pension was just a top up. Didn’t work that way once the bubble popped in early 1990’s.

I gather there are a fair number of pensioners struggling to live. It's amazing after 40 years of payments you only get 66000 per month. If you were enrolled in an employees pension scheme, the average payout is only 150 000 a month despite payments by the employer and employer over 40 years.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm saying that no one would die if a doctor and (husband/wife) had to take care of a dozen seniors. No bankruptcy. Just like how (untrained) children take care of their elderly parents with an occasional visit to the hospital or clinic.

"No one would die"? I'm pretty sure that death is inevitable.

Doctors are there to treat the sick, not to conduct the time-consuming care of the elderly and infirm. You don't need someone as well paid as a doctor to to change adult nappies, and the doctor's spouse (assuming they don't have their own career), to potentially hand-feed a dozen people. And that's just a fraction of what you need.

You probably need at least 5 nurses - 2 on-site at all times at least, working in shifts, but just one overnight.

And even then, I think that they'd be run off their feet.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Almost everyone I know that works in this industry is BROKE or about to go BROKE, low salaries, poor services, hard schedules, and most of all KITCHI BOSSES.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I guess, even selling the homes of the elderly isn't really going to help since homes devalue over the years. Don't expect robots, and AI or computers to help with incontinence, cooking, bathing, cleaning teeth, oral hygiene, cleaning, feeding, taking meds, and wandering around at 3 o clock in the morning, thinking it's time for work. In fact, I don't think any robot or Ai has the ability to deal with the 12 daily activities of living set out by Roper, Logan and Tierney. We are human, and we need humans to help us. As we have seen today, some carers are at the "end of their tether", and people don't think straight, they think there is no support, no respite care, and then we have seen elder abuse by the carer, and by the institution. There are 3 options. 1) Increase prices, 2), decrease salaries, or 3) increase taxes. Non of them are palatable to anyone. But don't let anyone tell you a robot or AI or tele-doctoring is going to help everyone.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

MarkJuly 10  07:49 pm JST

Almost everyone I know that works in this industry is BROKE or about to go BROKE, low salaries, poor services, hard schedules, and most of all KITCHI BOSSES.

The salary is poor and the working conditions are pretty bad, sometimes very unsocial. Poor service is controlled by staffing levels. Higher staffing levels means you can have more time to play games with the residents, and do reminiscence therapy. I wouldn't say ketchi bosses, because they have to balance the books at the end of the day. It's just that everyone says they want to pay more for it, but in reality, while they are young and healthy, they don't really want to. What they really mean is...They want everyone "ELSE" to pay for it via taxes...but not them!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Self employed (small business too) are on a different pension plan.

It is currently ¥66,000 per month, per person. Despite decades paying into it. The law changed a decade ago about company pensions for the wife of husband dies. Before she wife got very little.

Self employed were suppose to have saved their own money, paid off the house and sitting on a safe full of cash come retirement, pension was just a top up. Didn’t work that way once the bubble popped in early 1990’s.

Real poverty among seniors has always happened, but is going to get more serious. Japan had no inflation for decades but it's with us now and seems well entrenched. Energy and food are not going down until well after the war ends.

Media reporting on the pensions in Japan always seems to reference one (supposedly shocking) report that said typical seniors would have a 20M yen hole in their retirement funds. The problem with this is that the base case was a couple where the husband had earned healthily for his entire life, which was spent on shakai hoken with the wife as a dependent. Most people do not have 40 years of shakai hoken contributions off a good salary. Millions have no shakai hoken at all. For them, the hole will be way larger than 20M yen. They will have to work and scrimp, and not enjoy any of the things the shakai hoken plus 20M people are assumed to be buying.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Don’t worry about this. This is what japan hopes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

obladi: "This is a big problem. And old people vote."

Well, yeah, but they vote LDP, who then take it as a mandate to hike prices. In places where they would NOT vote LDP the LDP has successfully eliminated representative voting, meaning they can only choose the LDP or that LDP member automatically wins because there is no one to oppose them.

Japan has maybe five good years left.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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