Governor Abolishes Nursing Facilities In Community Integration
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 20, 2004
SENDAI, JAPAN--All people with mental disabilities currently housed in nursing facilities throughout Miyagi Prefecture will soon be living in their own homes, it was announced Friday.
Governor Shiro Asano said that the prefectural government would close all nursing homes as soon as possible in an effort to integrate people with disabilities into society and help them become more self-reliant. About 200 million yen (about $1.8 million US) has been set aside in the fiscal 2004 budget for projects aimed at helping people with mental disabilities be more included in the community.
Approximately 1,845 people are housed in 28 private and tax-payer funded nursing facilities, the Mainichi Shimbun reported.
"The prefectural government will abolish care homes for mentally handicapped residents and create an environment in which they can live in regional communities," read a statement Asano was scheduled to present during a symposium on Saturday.
"Those with serious mental handicaps can live in their regional communities as long as appropriate measures are implemented to support them and make their life fruitful. These have been demonstrated by various projects previously implemented (by many local governments and other entities)," the statement read.
Some of the money will be targeted toward private welfare organizations to hire staff to help current residents become more independent.