When you get older, you may need eldercare assistance. With this in mind, where would you prefer to live – in a hospital-like setting, in a hotel-like setting or within your own home amongst a familiar community? These three choices reveal the transition in eldercare models, and how we are now moving towards a new model, what I call the ‘Ibasho’ concept.
With the traditional institutional model, seniors are cared by medical professionals in an efficient, hygienic and safe hospital-like setting. However, seniors often do not want to be viewed as ‘patients’, so this led to the hospitality model, where seniors live in hotel-like environments, benefiting from personalised care. This ‘too-perfect’ scenario was also not ideal, as seniors had no familiarity or control over their environment.
This has led to the Ibasho model, a holistic, integrated concept, where people age within their familiar community, involving a range of people, such as family, medical professionals, caregivers, neighbours and other elders. Elders are now viewed as useful members of the community – people who can contribute their wisdom and experience, rather than as a patient or unwanted burden. This requires a social mindset change in the way elders are perceived and cared for.