The health and welfare ministry is pushing a plan to increase the number of “single-unit rooms” in nursing home facilities for the elderly. Such rooms are placed around a common space so that elderly people can maintain relationships with others while enjoying privacy in their rooms. The ministry also hopes that greater opportunities to mingle with others will prevent elderly people from becoming bedridden.

Unfortunately, because the monthly fee for a single room is expensive, many low-income people living in such rooms end up moving out. In particular, those whose annual pension income is above ¥800,000 but below ¥2.11 million tend to vacate single-unit rooms, although they receive an additional monthly ¥10,000 stipend from the public nursing care insurance system if they live in single rooms. Those with lower annual pension income who live in such rooms receive an additional stipend of ¥35,000.

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