In April 2019, the restaurant Chibaru Shokudo opened in Okazaki City, Aichi prefecture. The restaurant is run by care workers and sells Okinawan soba and yuntaku (which means “chatting noisily” in the Okinawan dialect).

Chibaru Shokudo is a restaurant that employs older people who have been diagnosed with dementia. The workers are paid more than the minimum wage set by the government. Valuing individuals’ desire to work rather than a sense of obligation to work, the idea is to provide people with a sense of purpose in life. There are times when they may make mistakes, but the customers are generous and forgiving. The restaurant also currently has workers who have been diagnosed with early-onset dementia and young people with Down’s syndrome.

In April 2021, a community-based day care center (nursing insurance) called Parlor Chibaru was opened. The ethos of the center is to celebrate the individuality and autonomy of its users. There is no daily schedule or program. Dementia prevention activities include mahjong, cooking, and now, yoga for the elderly. Participation in these activities is free.

In November 2021, a day service and attached takeout store, Parlor Chibaru, was opened. Nursing insurance provides nursing care services so that people can lead independent lives as much as possible even when they are in need of nursing care. By attaching a takeout store to the day service, an occupation becomes a visible goal for older people, making it possible for them to graduate from nursing care insurance services and reduce the cost of nursing care benefits covered by national funds.

As a trial involving the Okazaki city government as an insurer, where the project office is located, the use of the day service and the same-day use of takeout work (individual, physical exercise and bathing using the 4-hour day service, and then 3 hours of work) were implemented. For men in their nineties it may be difficult to stand and work for long periods of time, so they sit down while performing tasks such as breaking open eggs and mixing sata andagi (Okinawan sweet deep-fried buns). Men diagnosed with dementia have experienced difficulties with working in Chibaru Shokudo as their dementia progressed, but when working at the takeout, they could work on simple processes like making rice balls, and sata andagi, which enabled them to continue working.

Chibaru Shokudo and Parlor Chibaru provide work that is tailored to each person and are increasing the number of work options.

In June 2022, a home visit nursing care facility was established, named Helper Chibaru. The facility delivers necessary care to babies, older people, and terminally ill people living in the community, and is also engaged in pre-and-post natal care.

In October 2022, Chibaru Consultation (Chibaru Support Office) was established with the purpose of providing service plans, among other things, for people and children with disabilities who use the Welfare Service for Persons with Disabilities. The service offers support and assists those who may otherwise fall through the cracks in the system.

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Representative partner Takaaki Ichikawa Employee Yuki Hattori)