In the 16 years since its establishment in 1996, the Japan Academy of Home Care has developed into an organization of 933 researchers and practitioners of home care including maintenance of health sciences, medical treatment, wellbeing, nursing care, education, and public administration.
I had the honor of being elected president of the Academy in April 2012, following in the footsteps of the first president, Setsu Shimanouchi, who has worked tirelessly for the Academy since its establishment, and Masakazu Shirasawa, the Academy's second president.
Japan is facing a rapidly-aging population and a declining birthrate, and the home care environment is changing significantly including a shift from institution-based care to home care where patients can remain in their accustomed homes and communities until the end of their lives as well as rising awareness among the public concerning rights and diversification of lifestyles. To address these issues, we have adopted a continuous, multi-layer, and seamless approach that is user- and family-centered and is implemented by an interdisciplinary team.
The Japan Academy of Home Care is contributing to the development of care and care systems that provide lifestyles and nurturing environments within the community and the home tailored to the needs of each individual by creating teams of specialists in fields such as health sciences, medical treatment, wellbeing, nursing care, education, and public administration for patients of all generations with needs including medical and nursing care, rehabilitation, and education.
In order to achieve this, we are striving to establish home care as an academic discipline and develop the Academy as a forum for academic activities including the creation, accumulation, and widespread use of evidence. In addition, we are working to create the Academy as a forum for specialists who work in practical fields to announce the results of their research, present practices, and create networks to promote the development of practical home care initiatives.
Following the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, there were many victims and evacuees, leading to the loss of ties with the communities where they lived for many years. Even now, there are many people who are still living in temporary housing, seniors who have been isolated, and many others who require assistance in their daily lives. The Japan Academy of Home Care has collected funds to support recovery in affected regions, conducted "relay lectures" at academic conferences, held home care training sessions for nurses to provide support in disaster areas, and implemented various other support programs. Going forward, we will continue to investigate needed methods of support while closely monitoring local needs.
During the current Board's term of office, we plan to publish two issues of the Academy's journal, hold one academic conference, issued newsletters, hold public courses, and conduct various other programs while responding to the requests of members. I encourage members to express their honest opinions and urge researchers and practitioners with an interest in home care who are not members to join the Academy. I look forward to conducting a wide range of Academy programs with as many members as possible.