Benesse Style Care, which manages nursing homes for seniors in the Benesse Group, established “Nursing Care Antenna” in September 2019. This comprehensive information website for nursing care staff contains the know-how and knowledge the company has accumulated in its more than 20 years in the nursing care business, and is provided free of charge. The aim of the site is to provide a source of knowledge and information that can be useful not only to the company’s own workers, but to nursing staff facing difficulties across the entire industry. Amid the increasing ageing of Japanese society, we talked to the site’s administrators about the decision to create a site supporting nursing care to help people live as they desire and about what the response has been.

This is our attempt to provide solutions for nursing care staff across Japan facing unfamiliar situations

The increasing ageing of Japanese society means growth in both people needing nursing care and in those providing it. The shortage of staff at senior citizen care homes is a particular social issue. According to Mr. Takaaki Fukushima of Benesse Style Care:

“Most workers in Japanese nursing care facilities are so busy with their daily tasks that they have no time to accumulate know-how or information about problems they face or how to try new things, and we hear that they often quit because they are upset about the situation. It is also true that many managers in the industry do not have enough time to devote to staff training and the passing on of knowledge. The comprehensive information portal for nursing care staff “Nursing Care Antenna” was created as our answer to what we could do to help people in our industry solve such issues.”

Mr. Takaaki Fukushima, head of the web strategy team that developed “Nursing Care Antenna”

“For example, carers are often tasked with preparing materials for recreational activities in nursing care homes, but find a theme for the activities is tough. “Nursing Care Antenna” has more than 2,000 types of materials developed under the supervision of experts, and users can select materials for download based on aim, difficulty, and season. We believe easing the burden on staff by providing such detailed assistance is a key role of the site.” *Users need to complete free registration to use the site

Many materials are based on brain training and “reminiscence therapy,” a type of dementia therapy (right-hand photo). This example uses pictures reminiscent of the Showa era and asks home residents to talk about their recollections, and such therapy is said to be effective in maintaining and even improving cognitive functions.

Various methods were used to describe complex know-how including illustrations and easy-to-understand language

A particular difficulty when developing the site was shaping the company’s guidelines for nursing care techniques into a web format usable by anyone. As these techniques are actually taught on the ground on a hands-on basis, they could not simply be uploaded as is.

Mr. Fukushima noted: “What Benesse Style Care was aiming for was to help create a sense that the home resident themselves are active rather than being cared for. We tried to get this across while explaining the techniques. Through a continuous process of trial and error, including using at-a-glance illustrations and restating in-house terms in simpler language, we developed the content using advice given freely by Benesse nursing care staff and with the support of the entire group.

An example of Benesse Style Care nursing care technique guidelines from the site, using illustrations and speech balloons to quickly get over the main points.

Registrations from all 47 prefectures! Knowing the site is widely used is the best reward

In its first three month in operation the site has attracted users from all across the country, even in regions where the Benesse Group has no nursing care homes.

Mr. Fukushima said: “Our goal was to have the site be useful to as many nursing care industry staff as possible, so knowing that we have got registrations from all 47 prefectures is the best reward. Information on barrier-free leisure spots that we have visited ourselves is one of the key content areas of “Nursing Care Antenna,” and we are building a structure to allow us to provide even more content by receiving submissions about barrier-free access in public facilities and tourist spots from users across the country.”

The site administrators are busy collecting new information every day. They have even begun writing reports about the easy-access toilets and priority parking areas of places they have visited on their days off.

Mr. Fukushima notes that: “By looking at the page-view statistics, we have got a better sense of what kind of information is needed and for what situations – an example was an increase in viewing of information about how to transfer home residents from a bed to a wheelchair when a heavy rains evacuation order has been issued. As we have also attracted views from those caring for relatives at home and those with an interest in the nursing care work, I hope we can become the go-to site for people facing difficulties in nursing care.”

We will continue our efforts to develop the website as part of considering how we can contribute to society.

Information, Article cooperation

・Kaigo-antenna (Japanese version only)

・Benesse Style Care (Japanese version only)