Project to support the social participation of the elderly by Okayama Co-op


On March 14, Okayama Co-op held a paid volunteer activity by two elderly participants who use the Day Service Center Donguri House, a nursing care facility, to weed around the Co-op Saidaiji Store.

Staff and a participant 

In Japan, the number of elderly people is increasing, along with the number of those in need of nursing care. While there are opportunities for healthy elderly people to volunteer and participate in social activities, those who require nursing care tend to give up such participation. In addition, even if they wish to participate in social activities, conventional nursing care facilities do not provide the necessary services for them to do so.

To address this issue, Okayama City is implementing the "Project to Support the Social Participation of the Elderly," which enables them to work at nursing care facilities and participate in social activities, while continuing to live with a sense of fulfillment in their familiar communities even after they require nursing care.

Since this is the first activity of the project by Okayama Co-op, Okayama City officials also came to observe and report on the activity. Participants eagerly pulled out weeds they found around the store building and in the planting beds.

Participant pulling weeds

Upon completing the work, participants were handed over an envelope containing the wages by Mr. Kurose, the manager of Co-op Saidaiji Store, and purchased dorayaki (red bean pancake). 

Participant receiving her wage

Mr. Kurose, the store manager commented, "I am very grateful that the parking lot has been cleaned up and the participants are also very happy with their volunteer activities."

An official from Okayama City also commented, "I am thrilled to see this activity taking shape for the first time in my neighborhood, thanks to the cooperation of the nursing care providers, users, and business organizations in the city." And the participants were very lively and worked for a full hour.

From the left back: the store manager Mr. Kurose, Donguri House manager, and two Donguri House staff members
In the front row: two Donguri House users (participants)

tags: Okayama Co-op, social activity, volunteer activity