Eighty percent of Japanese hope to receive publicly funded services such as part-time home helpers when they get old, according to a recent government survey.

A July-August poll conducted by the Cabinet Office on 3,565 people nationwide found that 80.1 percent hope to use elder-care services, up 12.6 points from a similar survey in 1995.

A little more than 12 percent, down from 25 percent, said they only want their families to take care of them and do not want to rely on public services.

Experts said the survey reflects the actual condition of Japan’s aging society, which faces serious nursing care problems as older people will have to care for their parents.

According to the Cabinet Office, the government’s public elder-care insurance system, launched in 2000, is now accepted by Japanese as the basis of social security.

According to the poll, 48.6 percent, down 8.7 points, said it is natural to expect children to take care of their parents, while 36.1 percent, up 7.4 points, said children aren’t necessarily expected to do so.

Among those who said they want to home helpers, 38.3 percent said they only want or mainly want such helpers to take care for them, while 41.8 percent said they mainly want relatives to care for them, down slightly from 42.6 percent.

Asked why they want public care, 71.9 percent said they want to alleviate the physical burden on their relatives, 61.6 percent said they want to reduce the mental strain on relatives and 24.5 percent said their kin do not have the time to provide care.

To beef up the public elder-care system, 77.2 percent of all respondents agree that increases in insurance payments are necessary.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.