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Issues » 2008/3 - Corporate Social Work »

Josef Gohori, Yoko Hosoe, Jan Sýkora

Impact of the Unit-Care System on Social Network of Elderly Clients


This study refers about results of research on social network of Japanese elderly in socialcare institutions. First, we introduce current condition of ageing Japanese population with emphasis on system of social care. Next, we focus on unit-care system, which aim is the advancement of QOL of clients. Some factors, such as the size of social network, the frequency of social contacts, or the quality of social relations showed, that unit care is more effective than conventional institutions. However, even in the unit care, there is impossible to completely avoid the occurrence of social isolation of clients. Actually, gender (women showed larger social networks with frequent contacts), regional characteristics (networks of clients in the countryside tend to be larger than in agglomerations) and marital status (family was verified as a source of members of the social convoy) was detected as positive factors for prevention of social network restriction. The results also show, that it is necessary to take characteristics of the society into consideration. In this case, the care of elderly in Japan is traditionally seen as the commitment of family. As result, we found the intra-family relationships in the center of one’s network.


senior, social network, Japanese, unit-care system

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