“Dementia Cafe” Corona Virus Can’t Reopen Over 80% November 1 19:12
There are about 7000 dementia cafes in Japan where people with dementia and their families can gather to talk about their worries. In the first survey conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and others, it was found that more than 80% of dementia cafes could not be resumed due to the spread of the new coronavirus, and the impact was spreading to users.
“Dementia Cafe” is a place where you can connect with local governments and experts and consult about your worries in order to prevent isolation of people with early dementia and their families, and to reduce the psychological burden, and at the time of the day before yesterday, there are more than 7000 locations nationwide.
The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare commissioned a group of experts to conduct the first survey of local governments nationwide on the effects of the new coronavirus on dementia cafes, and obtained responses from more than 1240 municipalities, which accounted for about 70%.
As a result, as of the end of August, it was found that 83% of the approximately 6000 dementia cafes that the local government had been aware of had not been able to resume due to the effects of the new coronavirus.
As for the reason, it was noted that it was no longer available because the venue was an elderly facility, and that many of the users were in their 80s or older and could not eliminate the risk of infection because it involves eating and drinking.
As to whether the suspension of cafes affected people with dementia and their families, 23% of local governments said they had a problem, and there were cases where they lost their way out and tended to stay at home, and there were cases where family relationships deteriorated and symptoms of dementia progressed.
A group of experts has decided to create a “manual” to sustain dementia cafes and distribute them to local governments, saying that, although there are regional differences, immediate measures are needed.
Tomoyuki Yabuki, an associate professor in the Department of Social Welfare at Tohoku University of Welfare, who was in charge of the survey, said, “There are aspects of dementia that can be delayed in diagnosis due to the loss of dementia cafes. We need to think about ways to maintain our functions, such as visiting activities, letters, and telephone calls, and we’re really trying to see if we can face the Corona era.”
Expert Creation Manual 4 Points Required
The Manual, created by a group of experts, points out the four points that operators need to maintain the functioning of the Dementia Cafe.
Use public relations magazines and display boards to inform people about activities and events, so that you can feel connected.
If you know your contact information, use a letter or phone call to deliver a voice in just one word.
In addition, it is effective to conduct regular visiting activities according to the situation in the area and to become a consultation partner.
In addition, it is assumed that you are familiar with the communication environment, the presence or absence of a personal computer, and the operation, but if you are accustomed to going out and refraining from going out for a long time, holding a Dementia Cafe using online is also one of the options.
What is Dementia Cafe?
“Dementia Cafe” is held at facilities and medical institutions for the elderly, as well as at community comprehensive support centers in municipalities, and it is a presence that fills the “blank period” until receiving nursing care services, such as when people begin to feel uncomfortable before they are diagnosed with dementia or immediately after they are diagnosed.
The government announced the spread of dementia cafes in the “Five-Year Plan for Promoting Dementia Measures” in 2012, after which “Dementia Community Support Promotion Officers” from each municipality played a role in opening cafes.
The goal is to establish it in all municipalities by the end of this fiscal year. According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, only the local government knows, dementia cafes, which were 2253 in 2015, have continued to increase, and at the time of the day before yesterday, 7023 locations have been installed in 1412 municipalities.
On the other hand, there are no uniform installation standards, and there are many issues to be addressed as to how to secure human resources and operating funds.
Dementia Cafe Continues to Pause
The Dementia Cafe “Fundomizu-to” in Katsushika-ku, Tokyo, was forced to pause in March as the spread of the new coronavirus infection, and it has not yet been resumed.
This cafe was opened five years ago by social workers commissioned by the ward. Tea ceremonies and events were held once a month, and at many times about 60 people, including people with dementia and their families, used them.
Yoko Inaba, 71, who used a coffee shop with her husband with dementia, was looking forward to visiting with her husband and wife. My husband says that when he came to the cafe, he was alive by playing beigoma. In the last six months, I feel that my husband’s symptoms have progressed, such as a severe forgetfulness.
Mr. Inaba said, “When I was taking care of my husband, there were a lot of difficult things, but I was able to interact and consult with people who felt the same way at cafes, so when I came home, my way of interacting with my husband was different. It’s hard not to have a place like this.”
While many people were waiting for it to resume, the Cafe was aiming to reopen last month, but gave up. Mariko Shigehara, a social worker who is in charge of the operation, said, “Dementia Cafe is a place where people gather to have tea and talk, so the hurdle to reopening is high. Even if we resume, we have to secure a new room, shorten the time, and narrow down the number of people.”
Shigehara and his colleagues also sought to resume outdoor and online, but when they asked users by letter, they said that they were worried about the heat, cold, and surrounding eyes when they were outdoors, and that it was difficult to participate online because they could not use the Internet.
Shigehara says, “I’m particularly worried about people living alone. It’s frustrating not to be able to create a place where people can live like Dementia Cafe. It is only up to the facility itself to decide whether to reopen it or not, and there are many facilities that think it is better to quit than get lost.”
Dementia Cafe decided to reopen
On the other hand, there is also the Dementia Cafe, which has begun to move toward reopening, but there are still issues to be addressed as to how to balance support for the parties and measures against infection.
“Enwa Ochiai” in Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, which has been volunteering to open Dementia Cafe for four years, was suspended in March due to the new coronavirus, but reopened on a trial last month.
Because the room of the elderly facility which had been used up to now cannot be rented by the infection measures, I will secure the facility of the nearby ward somehow this month and hold it.
In addition, the format that about 30 people gathered in the free participation was changed. We decided to limit the number of people and talk directly to 8 people who decided they needed more help.
Chieko Kurihara, the representative, said, “I was told to refrain from going out, and I felt that there were a lot of people who were sick. After all, I thought that it was important to have a place to go and an opportunity to go out to some extent, so I decided to resume it.”
However, it is not easy to continue to secure three places that are not dense. Kurihara says, “It was difficult to find a place where only 10 people could use it, or if there were steps, it was barrier-free and 3 dense could be avoided. If possible, I would like to resume in the same place as before, but now it is difficult, so if the ward can secure a place that is relatively close and easy to go to.”
It is also a problem that some people are not available depending on the number of people. Masahito Shindo, 85, was one of the participants and helped with the operation. In order to prevent dementia, I participated in cafes every month and performed a performance of my hobby harmonica.
“I’m delighted to be able to talk about songs and common topics that we know each other in cafes where people of the same generation gather. It’s so much fun to go out, talk, and laugh with songs. It’s life-long.” Mr. Shindo said so, but I couldn’t participate in last month’s meeting.
Shindo says, “If the cafes resume in the same way as before. It’s fun to meet everyone. I sincerely hope that such a day will come again.”