Recently a new program was launched that aims to reduce the need of nursing care amongst the elderly in Japan. The program was created last June by the Kiyose municipal government in western Tokyo.
The program is exclusively targeted towards seniors and includes karaoke exercises, held once a week at three locations in the city. Each session costs a total of ¥200, lasts around an hour and a half and includes various songs that promote moderate physical activity, such as waving hands or mouth exercises.
An increasing number of studies suggest a link between karaoke machines and improved general health and well-being. Singing karaoke increases saliva secretion, which is correlated with decreased risk of infectious diseases and dry mouth. What’s more, karaoke machines have been found to boost mental functions and reduce stress, thus improving the general quality of life.
The karaoke program is aimed at prompting stay-at-home seniors to go out and socialize, whilst encouraging physical activity and improving their general health. According to the creators of the program, many of the participants have already become more conscious of their appearance and started dressing more neatly. The staff also commented on their livelier expressions, and increased rates of interactions and conversations amongst the seniors.
A similar program was launched last year on a trial basis in the city of Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. This year, the city is making it official and is conducting it exclusively for retired male seniors, due to the large interest that the program evoked.
Source: The Japan News