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Working as caregiver holds few attractions, despite growing need


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It is the same issue around the world; people want top notch care for the elderly or children and want it at just above minimum wage. In the end the only people that will do those jobs are the ones that should not be around people t begin with or extremely desperate people in need of employment. Skill sets are like anything else on the market if you want quality you will have to pay for it. In short you will not get a Lexus for the price of a Daihatsu unless the Lexus is a wreck.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

the only people that will do those jobs are the ones that should not be around people t begin with or extremely desperate people in need of employment.

Or maybe, just maybe, they're people like me who cared and already had income

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No doubt, as in many hospitals and care-facilities the people who are care-givers, the "helpers" are treated poorly by the nurses and doctors, and the pay is crap as well.

The government has also made it difficult by making certified care givers go through a ton of hoops to get the certification and making it cost money as well to get qualified.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Less stress, less personal time waisted working at a convenience store. Hour for hour better pay rate too. Japan has one of the lowest minimum wage rates in the OECD. No Suprise people don't want to sit exams that are only available once a year and cost a lot of money. Complicating the simple is an art. Very artistic place.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Anyone capable of respecting old people and dealing with them with unwavering patience and kindness has the perfect skills for working in many jobs like customer service than have way better prospects and don't involve physical tasks.

society does not value people who work in the caregiving industry.

In a nutshell, yes.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It is essentially unskilled labor. Tidying up, washing clothes, preparing meals, giving baths and changing diapers is physically demanding, but requires almost no education. This work has never paid well in any society in any era.

But as demand increases, and the pool of people who perform such work diminishes, wages will go up. Unlike the other Japanese industries were higher wages in a tight labor market are negated by decreases in demand for goods, the market for caregivers is growing.

One of the thing which has held down wages is that the industry is run by middlemen who take the greater part of whatever is charged. If you figure that an agency charges 3000 yen per hour for care, and then pays a caregiver 1000 yen per hour, this is obviously not right. There should be a simplified training and licensing program for those who would like to be self-employed caregivers. This would increase wages for both independent caregivers and those who work for agencies (which would see their staff become independent unless they increased their wages).

Many people think that the regulation and red tape which must be navigated to do such business in Japan is necessary for safety. But it's main purpose is to limit competition, and allow agencies to control the market, driving down wages, and pushing up profits.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japan introduced a nursing care insurance system in 2000

The article mentions that these positions seem to be covered by a nursing care insurance scheme, which would imply that potential higher wages to offset this problem would translate to higher premiums if these were private schemes. The depressed wages could be explained if this were a publicly funded program though, so that could be one of the problems

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My wife was a certified care giver, it cost around 100,000 yen for the first certification, and more than that for the second one, that includes the classes, the test itself is not that a high of a cost.

My wife did not do it for the money , she saw how bad her grandmother was treated and then took it upon herself to care for her at her home, then she knew she found her calling. Bad thing is, like the preschools my daughter worked at, the companies are all about money. One company told all the full-time employees they had to buy a book written by the owner once a month. They also have fill out a massive amount of paperwork, and work a different shift everyday, and the night shifts were from 5 pm until 11 am the next day, they say you get an hour to sleep, but that never happened, and if something happened at night you had to stay longer and fill out more paperwork.

She kept looking for the perfect place, that treated the elderly and care givers with respect, she never found it.

My wife died of cancer a few years back, she worked while she was sick at first because they had no one to take her shift, the company never came to offer any sort of condolences whatsoever, the next year one of her co-workers died of cancer, neither my wife nor her co-worker were even 50 yet. A nurse told me that though the cause of the cancer was not the job, the toll the job takes on your body and lack of sleep make it hard for your body to fight it. So I would not recommend that anyone in their 40's take a care givers job full-time!

They were so busy at night and having only one care giver per floor, that while she was changing one persons adult diaper and changing the sheets one old women crawled out of bed and dragged herself to the elevator, now the company has cameras to watch every thing that goes on and will call and chew you out if you are standing still to long, but they never called to tell her that the old woman was crawling down the hall, and when they did find out, they chewed her out for not watching her, her reply was honest " I can only be in one place at a time", but that was no excuse!

People in any type of care giving job are never given the respect, support, or pay they deserve!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Middleoftheroad. Thanks for the informative post.

Sorry for your loss. Your wife sounds like a real special lady.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I care for a dementia relative and understand that even though she is in a care home, the staff can't cope. Sometimes if I don't come she gets worse. The staff have a hard job...ever tried to remove unchi from an old lady who hasn't done poos for 6 days? They try hard but don't get just reward.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It's a stressful job where you are not appreciated and don't get paid much.

It doesn't take a genius to work out why not many people want to do this job. With a shrinking labour force other options are available, why would anyone CHOOSE to do this work?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Middleoftheroad. You must miss your wife.

She jumped through all the hoops just to try and help and still was treated with contempt. That's not right.

The management system is a negative non responsive model. It's not fair on caregivers or those in care. The utter disdain they show to human beings is at odds with their proclaimed "care" attitude.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Mike L

Thank you!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 why would anyone CHOOSE to do this work?

Some people really enjoy taking care of others. My wife was, and all my kids are that type of person. My wife and most of her friends that worked with her really cared about the people they looked after, it is not a job that you do to get rich, but for the satisfaction of knowing you made someone else's life a little better that day!


I do miss my wife very much, she was a good person, and put up with me for 31 years and gave birth to and raised our 5 children, and was always making sure everyone was was happy!

The management system is the reason why the turnover rate is so high, people jump from place to place looking for a company that really seems to care, but, they are few and far between, and most places only want to hire Hakken, the pay may be higher, but there is no job security and you are treated with utter disdain by those who are Kai-shain.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I agree with Middleoftherocd, some people just really enjoy taking care of others. My mom is one. She worked as a nurse at a government hospital for 47 years. She's now 82 and still does volunteer work helping out at a carehome looking after residents, some even younger than her.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I know someone who does this sort of work and has to deal with patients throwing poop, verbal abuse, long hours, night work...

"Yeeeaaahhh... no thanks."

what most people likely think/say

2 ( +2 / -0 )

sangetsu03Today 09:37 am JST

It is essentially unskilled labor. Tidying up, washing clothes, preparing meals, giving baths and changing diapers is physically demanding, but requires almost no education. This work has never paid well in any society in any era.

No, sorry, but saying it's unskilled labor is looking down upon it.

There is a right way to tidy up the bed so the patient doesn't get a bedsore. You have to take into account their daily intake of calories and diseases (such as diabetes, for example) to make a balanced meal. You have to think about their body disabilities when changing diapers or clothes and assisting with the bath. You have to know how your body and their bodies work, so that the job can be less physically demanding for both. You have to pay attention to any sudden difference, both physical and mental, and try to find out why it happened so it can maybe be dealt with. You have to know how to communicate properly.

So let's see: culinary and dietician skills, some medical knowledge, communication skills, a strong mind and a kind heart. That's not a job someone without some training, education and the proper personality traits can do properly. It's not only physically demanding, you have to use your brains. A lot. And I should say, that's the difficult part.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Please tell me again why Japanese pay large amounts of health insurance and those over 50 also have to pay a tax for aged care. Why are they paying it? It's pretty obvious you get bugger all care for it. The number one business failing in the first 3 months in Japan is aged care.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Even if the pay we're competitive with the likes of an AI software engineer I still couldn't take such work..Speaking of which, it'll be great when automation is advanced enough to hit that industry as well.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )


31 years of happiness 5 children you are a lucky man.

;-) you made me cry. And happy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@zichi, you pay additional from 40.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I know 1st hand, how much Care-Givers go through. And honestly, they deserve a lot more respect in Society than at present. There's a lot of Private Companies offering Support that the Govt. outsources to, some are good, and some aren't - those which aren't, see a high turnover in staff - and that gets recognised eventually, and they soon don't get their contract renewed. A Good care-giver becomes a friend to the family and really needs to be treated as such.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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