What we value
Our Theory of Change
So that everyone can think "I'm glad to have lived until now"
To feel proud of their life until the very end.
Japan is entering a super-aged society where a small working age population supports many elderly. While social resources are unevenly distributed and connections between others become sparse in society, there will be more people that suffer unnoticed.
In particular, in the face of the suffering of people and their families who have reached the final stage of their lives, various measures have been taken so far, but the current situation is that no drastic solution has been reached. In the future, since it will be difficult to spend the remaining life at the hospital, living at home or in a long-term care facility will be required. While many people wish to do so, because of environment or resource reasons, not all wishes come true. Also, it is expected that more people will either struggle to balance work and long-term care for their families or live alone and have weak ties to the community feeling alone and anxious.
On the other hand, the suffering of those people is hardly noticed by those who live nearby. What makes this problem even more difficult is that even if one notices the suffering, they do not know how to get involved with neighbors who feel, "I don't want to bother everyone," "I'm not needed by anyone," or "No one understands me" and does not extend a helping hand.
When there is someone who (you feel) understands your suffering
People can be at ease, even when facing death
The End of Life Care Association of Japan has focused on talent development based on the interpersonal support method cultivated in hospice and palliative care. What we learned in the clinical field is that those who feel despair and loneliness, saying "Why only me" or "No one knows what I'm going through”, may see the world differently by having someone (who they feel) understand(s) their suffering or be at ease even if the suffering continues by knowing there is someone who supports them. For this reason, it is important to "listen to their stories."
People feel at ease for various reasons. We value not only the physical conditions, but also the facial expressions. Through dialogue, we explore with them and their families what “support” will help them to feel at ease. Then, we verbalize how to help them so that they receive more “support” they want by telling everyone involved who should do what, in a clear and concrete way without using difficult jargons or abstract words.
Even if they are not medical or nursing care professionals, there are things that can be done by families, friends, neighbors, or anyone who wish to support those who are suffering. By learning and by practicing how they can contribute regardless of profession or position, those who were less confident in getting involved will begin to change and gain more confidence.
From children to elderly
Being at ease even when suffering
It is not only those who have reached the final stages of their lives that are suffering from questions that have no definite answers. Everyone, from children to elderly, is suffering even if they do not realize it. We have introduced the lessons learned from interpersonal support method cultivated in hospice and palliative care at schools, communities, and companies as "Lessons Learned from the End-of-life Experience”. Adults and children alike will be able to face the difficulties and sufferings they will encounter in the future by applying what they have learned at the "Lessons Learned from the End-of-life Experience".
In addition to facing one's own suffering, if one can become aware of and be involved with those who are also suffering, and by voluntarily communicating what one has learned through suffering of others, then we hope that a chain reaction of kindness will start spreading in the community.
Supporting each other
Learning through the community
For those who are suffering, just having someone who (they think) understands their suffering can remain calm and will be able to look at the world differently. The same can be said for those who are trying to get involved with those who are suffering.
Interpersonal assistance is not unilaterally provided by a person in a particular position or role. Sometimes someone cares about you and vice versa. Learning from each other through mutual relationships - we are aiming for a community that supports each other, not just one-way.
Being aware of suffering, thinking about what you can do, and helping someone fosters a sense of self-affirmation. On the other hand, there may be times when you feel useless and unable to do anything.
Even if you encounter questions that have no definite answers, you may be able to accept yourself, take good care of yourself, and face your suffering when you realize there is someone who cares about you.
Creating a sustainable and inclusive society
Our activities focus on fostering a society where more people are willing to be involved in such a way to help one another. Fostering a society where children through elderly, not only experts will continue to learn the mindset as a means to live, so that the chain reaction of kindness will spread throughout, creating an inclusive community. We hope to realize such society with organizations that share the same aspirations.