As Respect for the Aged Day nears, there is an uptick in the advertisements of gifts for older people and care center promotions. The traditional way to celebrate the day is to appreciate longevity and to ensure that older adults are well cared for. But with COVID-19, face-to-face contacts with older people who are considered more vulnerable to the virus have been restricted to avoid outbreaks, especially those in nursing homes.
As Japan is one of the fastest aging countries with the second-longest life expectancy in the world, this approach makes sense. In addition, over the past few years, a variety of initiatives and policy changes have been discussed, such as extending the retirement age at companies and other entities to 70, for example, as well as having such people start receiving pensions later in order to accommodate a 100-year life, which is quickly becoming a reality in Japan.