Gathering with the family for a game of scrabble or monopoly is a cherished tradition for many. Grandpa has fallen asleep during his turn, Dad is gleefully cheating and Mum is scolding him while the kids chase the dog, who has run off with one of the pieces. Rolling the dice, sharing a laugh and bonding over strategic blunders. It’s not about who wins or who cheats, it’s about happiness and togetherness through play.
In Japan, the world’s fastest ageing nation, Pip Robot Technology Co has come up with an ingenious way to use inter-generational play for aged care planning. The Japan Times* has reported on an interesting innovation, that uses the humble board game, to get families talking about more than just who’s winning, sleeping or cheating.
“Kokorozumori”, which means “Making Preparations in One’s Head”, is a board game that gets families to think about the costs and implications of caring for ageing relatives.
The Japan Times reported that the game works by players forming pairs, one older and the other a younger family member. Real life scenarios are played out where players earn an income and pay for medical bills, as they progress on the board, while the older member’s health and mental abilities change.
Along the way, the older person may suffer a stroke or dementia-induced memory problems, requiring nursing care that may be eligible for insurance coverage. Their physical condition plays into it too.
“We devised the game to offer some ideas about institutional services available and illnesses,” a public relations official at Pip Robot Technology told the Japan Times.
Of Japan’s 126 million people, more than a quarter were 65 or older in 2015. 1 in 3 people are expected to be in that age bracket by 2035.
Japan may be leading the global statistics on ageing, forcing them to innovate, but they are certainly not alone. In Australia, we too are experiencing an ageing population, making conversations around the kitchen table just as important as conversations around the cabinet table, as we all prepare for the future.
Preparing for change is not always easy. The good news is, Care Connect is here to help. When your family is ready to chat about options in aged care, we are here to listen.
70% of Australian’s want to stay living at home for life, but only 14% do. We want to work to change that, and make life at home a real possibility for those who want it. With genuinely independent advice and guidance, and Australia’s largest range of connected service providers, Care Connect is ready to start the conversation. If you like, we’ll even join you for a cup of tea and a game of scrabble!
Call us on 1800 116 166 to get the conversation started.
Photo from the Japan Times