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Greetings from the Director

Kondo Izumi

Thank you for visiting the website of the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology. I am Izumi Kondo, who has been appointed as the hospital director since April 2022.

The philosophy of the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology is to "promote the independence of the mind and body of the older people and contribute to the construction of a healthy and long-lived society." In Japan, the percentage of older people, which was less than 5% immediately after World War II, has increased rapidly, and now more than 28% of the population is occupied by older people aged 65 and over. As a result, Japan is now the longest-lived country in the world. The declining birthrate is a serious problem and needs to be dealt with, but in a super-aging society where only the older people aged 75 and over are increasing, a paradigm shift from conventional curative medical care to "curable and supportive medical care" is also required.

It is quite usual to diagnose and treat illnesses in hospitals, and in addition, we also practice accurate diagnosis and treatment at our center, but for the older people, it is often to complicate more than two chronic diseases, i.e. so-called multiple illnesses. They may often have many psychological and even social problems as well as physical problems. Therefore, it is necessary to look at the older people from a broad perspective, so that we perform comprehensive evaluations, diagnose and treat diseases. At the same time, it is essential to pay attention to their daily lives. At this center, we will provide care to maintain and improve the functions of the older people, and we will also practice preventing the deterioration of ability in daily life. As the number of illnesses increases, so does the number of drugs taken, so we need to pay attention to the harmful effects of polypharmacy. Undernutrition occurs frequently in older population, so we are working as a team to improve the taking of nourishment. In addition, we carry out rehabilitation using robots and also carry out project to support the introduction of proper ICT and nursing care robots into homes.

The biggest mission at this center is to treatment of dementia, which has become the number one cause of long-term care, outstripping the stroke recently. At the Center for Comprehensive Care and Research on Memory Disorders, which is thought be largest in the world, we do not only provide high-quality medical care based on clinical information, psychological tests and imaging tests, but also provide educational programs for reducing patients and their family anxiety. The new building, which was completed in May 2022, has a complex of forgetfulness outpatient clinics and ward. There are also image and gene analysis room, and brain activity rehabilitation room for dementia. Based on the new orange plan that is the official policy for dementia being set by the Japanese ministry of health, labor, and welfare, we are making multi-directional efforts to provide care that emphasizes the viewpoint of patients themselves and also their family members.

In addition to frailty and sarcopenia, Locomotive syndrome, which has been advocated by the Japanese Orthopaedic Association would impair the independence of daily life, and are also important issues for us. Physical and mental deterioration due to musculoskeletal disorders and aging is a decisive factor to provide long-term care services in the older people aged 75 and over, and is a very important condition along with the treatment of illnesses. In order to respond to these issues, we have launched the Center for Frailty and locomotive Syndrome, which provides cutting-edge medical services for diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and care, since 2019. Furthermore, we set up the Center for Sensory Organ recently, which is also the first attempt in the world. At this center, instead of treating the sensory organs of the older people separately in the ophthalmology and otolaryngology departments, we comprehensively focus on the senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, and provide medical care that approaches the sensation for all.

We also deal with various other symptoms by providing appropriate diagnosis and treatment at the 22 clinical departments, cooperating each other. If the patient has multiple uneasiness and does not have the knowledge where to go, the department of "Geriatric Medicine" would be the most appropriate place to visit.

At our hospital, we would like to refer to the opinions of all of you on a daily basis, and all staff members will cooperate to form a team with patients and their family member to overcome the difficulties.

National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology
Hospital director, Izumi Kondo. MD, PhD.