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Shifting Costs of Caring for the Elderly Back to Families in Japan: Will It Work?

Population & Development Review

Author: Ogawa, N., Retherford, R. D.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1997


In light of the rapidly aging population in Japan & its concomitant strain on the social security system, the government is seeking to shift some costs of elder care back to the families. However, statistical, survey, & other data indicate that an increase in the marriages of young female family members & the cost of urban housing have reduced the number of intergeneration-coresidence households that have traditionally provided health care for the elderly. Further, the forced labor participation of middle-aged women has decreased the availability of home-nursing care providers. Consequently, the traditional primogeniture inheritance system has been replaced by a movement that affords the elderly the opportunity to acquire mortgages on their homes, thus reducing the incentive of children to care for their aging parents. It is concluded that Japan's efforts to shift nursing responsibility back to the families will ultimately flounder.

Further Details

Pages: 59-94
Volume: 23
Issue: 1
Accession Number: 27.5.03
Keywords: Asia, older
Reads: 174