Japan will have nursing care workers to fulfill only 86 percent of demand in 2025, when the youngest of the nation’s postwar baby boomer generation will have turned 75 and the need for care services will significantly increase, a recent government estimate shows. Efforts need to be accelerated to bridge the gap so that elderly people can get the services they require. While working conditions for nursing care workers need to be improved to secure sufficient manpower, efforts to contain the surge in nursing care demand through preventive measures that help people stay fit should also be explored.
The nation had roughly 1.9 million nursing care workers as of 2016. A Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry estimate shows that to meet the growing demand of the rapidly aging population, that number needs to rise by 550,000 to 2.45 million by 2025. At the current pace of increase in the care staffing, however, the nation expects to face a shortage of 337,000 nursing care workers seven years from now.