FUNATSUKI Minako University of the Ryukyus, Professor, 医学部, 助手 (60347143)
OZASA Yoshiko University of the Ryukyus, Assistant Professor, 医学部, 講師 (10295313)
UZA Miyoko University of the Ryukyus, Professor, 医学部, 教授 (00253956)
To find function of the family networks and its problems with the elderly care in small islands, we surveyed on the health care support for the elderly in 5 nearby islands of Okinawa, and analyzed the family networks, and its type and background in the elderly care, and the terminal care. In this research we had semi-structured interviews with 72 elderly who needed care and 15 caregivers, and cast a questionnaire on the funeral practices to 376 inhabitants in 2 islands with no crematorium, and also surveyed on the hospitalization and its related events for 91 elderly patients in 4 hospitals in Okinawa, the mainland.
The type of the family networks was classified into 3 ; the abundant support from the family, the support from their sons or daughters, and the poor support from the family. The islands with the abundant support from the family had enough public services. In the islands where the people were succeeding in a traditional custom of interment and born washing as no crematorium was provided, it was suggested that the people took a series of hospitalization, death, and cremation because they wished avoid born washing. It showed that the presence of crematorium or no in the island gave a great effect to the elderly for their terminal in the island. Notwithstanding the abundant or poor family support, it was clear that the elderly wished to face their own terminal in the island where they used to live, with expecting the public care facilities for their terminal care.
The result above showed that the community activation with the nursing professionals and the support in its administrative actualization seemed to be of urgent theme to improve the elderly care in the island with low family networks and poor services.