Supporting Japan, a Global Pioneer in Healthy Longevity

Group-wide Initiatives to Tackle Dementia

Products & Service

In an effort to realize our management philosophy of contributing to the security, health, and wellbeing of our customers and society as a whole by providing insurance and related services of the highest quality possible, we focus on social issues relating to dementia and aim to build a society that strives to prevent dementia and enables people to continue living long and happy lives with dignity as individuals, even after being diagnosed with dementia.

SOMPO Dementia Support Program

We are promoting the SOMPO Dementia Support Program throughout the Group under the slogan, “build a society that strives to prepare for dementia and enables people to continue living long and happy lives with dignity as individuals, even after being diagnosed with dementia.”

1. First in the Industry: Egao Wo Mamoru Dementia Insurance

In October 2018, Sompo Himawari Life launched Egao Wo Mamoru Dementia Insurance (Dementia Insurance for protecting your smile), the industry’s first insurhealth product that guarantees mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
The company offers a full range of support to customers by helping them to delay the onset and progression of dementia, along with responding to their nursing care needs. The services include the insurance functions that cover MCI and dementia with one-time payment; cognitive function checks and other services that help prevent cognitive impairment; a web-based service that provides basic information on dementia and dementia care; the SOMPO Egao Club dementia support service; and Sompo Care nursing care services to support customers when such care is required.

2. First in Industry: Oyako No Chikara Insurance to Prevent Employees from Leaving the Workforce

In an effort to address the social issue that more and more people are leaving the workforce in order to provide nursing care to aging parents, Sompo Japan became the first insurer to develop an insurance product, Oyako No Chikara, which helps working (adult) children caring for their parents achieve a better balance between work and family care responsibilities.
This product gives the insured party (adult children) with easy access to nursing care services while also providing insurance that covers the cost of nursing care paid for by children.

3. Long-Term Care Services Offered by Sompo Care

We acquired Watami no Kaigo Co. in December 2015 and Message Co. in March 2016, and integrated them with our group companies to form Sompo Care Inc. The company aims to serve customers in communities with a full range of high quality nursing care services, ranging from at-home care to facility-based care.
We listen to users and provide care based on observations of their health and living environment so that people with dementia can continue living with dignity as individuals. We aim to provide highly customized care, cooperating with medical institutions to review drugs, alleviate physical pain, and improve nutritional status, while using digital technology to grasp patient’s sleeping patterns, toilet habits, and other activities.

4. Total Support Service for Dementia, SOMPO Egao Club

In October 2018, Prime Assistance launched an online service that checks cognitive capabilities, helps prevent cognitive decline, and provides basic knowledge on dementia and information on nursing care. This service can be used incidental to Sompo Japan’s Oyako No Chikara and Sompo Himawari Life’s Egao Wo Mamoru Dementia Insurance.
In addition, some functions of the service are available to non-members since August 2020.

5. SOMPO Smile Aging Program for Effective Control of Cognitive Decline

In 2020, under the supervision of Professor Miia Kivipelto of the Karolinska Institutet, who led the FINGER study,* and the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, we developed the SOMPO Smile Aging Program, a program to help prevent cognitive decline by improving the lifestyle of older people. This program is the world’s first nationwide FINGER study social implementation program approved by Professor Kivipelto.
In the future, we aim to reduce the risk of developing dementia in Japan by rolling out the program throughout Japan.

  • The Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER), involving 1,260 older people, was the first in the world to prove that providing simultaneous multimodal intervention guidance on nutrition, exercise, cognitive training and lifestyle is effective in suppressing mild cognitive impairment.
    A Japanese version of the study, the Japan-multimodal intervention trial for prevention of dementia (J-MINT) started in 2019. Sompo Holdings participates in the study as a co-research institute, aiming to create a dementia prevention service with a view to future social implementation.

Raising Awareness on Dementia

1. Train Dementia Supporters

Our Group is working to train dementia supporters to ensure correct understanding of dementia, and to watch out for and support dementia patients and their families. The total number of dementia supporters and Caravan-Mates* among Group employees, directors, and Sompo Japan agency employees had reached 21,321 by the end of March 2021.

  • Caravan-Mates are certified lecturers of dementia supporter training seminars. To become a Caravan-Mate, one must go through the requisite training and registration process.

2. Activities for World Alzheimer’s Day (September 21)

We held various events on World Alzheimer’s Day (September 21), which was jointly established by Alzheimer’s Disease International and the World Health Organization.

(1) Transmission of a message to raise awareness of dementia from the Sompo Japan headquarters building
On September 21, 2020, World Alzheimer’s Day, the Sompo Japan headquarters building was lit up in orange, the color used to indicate awareness and support of dementia. We have been lighting up our headquarters building on this date every year since 2017.

(2) Seminar for thinking about dementia
In cooperation with the Alzheimer’s Association Japan and a number of companies and organizations that support the objectives of the seminar, we held a webinar on the topic of coexistence and prevention of dementia in the COVID-19 era on September 21, 2020, World Alzheimer's Day.
The number of participants far exceeded that of the previous year’s in-person event, with approximately 2,000 people logging in from all over the country.

3. Launch of Anna Konna (this and that) Website Full of Hints for Dementia Care

This website, which supports people providing dementia care at home, is operated by Sompo Care in the hope that our knowledge of nursing care will be useful to home nursing care providers. The website draws on the knowledge of frontline dementia care professionals to introduce lifehacks on how to apply wisdom and ingenuity when providing nursing care at home, in relation to all kinds of problems associated with caring for people with dementia.
The Anna Konna website was awarded the Good Design Award 2020.

4. Sponsoring Activities to Deepen Understanding of Dementia

(1) Sompo Dementia Essay Competition
In fiscal year 2020, we ran a competition, asking for submissions of essays on the theme of “Living with dementia: A future where everyone can live a fulfilled life,” in the hope that dementia-friendly initiatives will take root throughout society.
The prize-winning entries were all thought-provoking essays portraying real-life stories that stemmed from the bonds and gratitude between people suffering from dementia and the people providing dementia care to support them.

(2)Sponsorship and participation in an event called "RUN TOMO”
From 2018, we sponsored an event called RUN TOMO, in which dementia sufferers and their families, supporters, and other members of the general public took part in a relay to complete a single task aiming for a goal. Group employees and directors participated in as runners.

  • In 2020, the event was cancelled due to the spread of the COVID-19.

(3)Sponsorship of Nikkei Dementia Symposium
Since fiscal year 2019, we have been sponsoring the Nikkei Dementia Symposium, a multi-stakeholder event for industry, government, academia and citizens to discuss the current situation and issues relating to dementia, which is increasing in Japan’s “super-aging” society, from the perspective of those involved.

(4) Co-organized the forum to promote medical care for dementia
We jointly organized the forum to promote medical care for dementia, together with the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, with whom we entered into a comprehensive alliance agreement in fiscal year 2017. The forum held on February 7, 2021, took the form of a webinar on the subject of “dementia and COVID-19.”

Project to Extend Healthy Life Expectancy: Start of Testing of Sompo Care La Vie Re Tamagawa Housing for Working Seniors

Products & Service

Sompo Care has partnered with Tokimeku Japan to launch an initiative that provides paid employment opportunities to users of nursing homes we operate.
Sompo Care is engaged in providing users with an environment in which they can continue to live their lives in their own way, using the skills we have accumulated by catering for and addressing the needs of a diverse group of elderly people and their families. In response to users’ desire to work and contribute to society, we are working with Tokimeku Japan, which deploys a nursing care fashion brand, KISS MY Life, to start a project where users make accessories for nursing care goods. This project will create new connections for users to their local community and assist them in leading a happy and rewarding life.
Sompo Care responds to a range of needs according to users’ health and living environment and aims to build a sustainable business model that protects the dignity of the elderly and creates homes in which they can live fulfilling lives.
This project has been suspended since April 2020 due to COVID-19.

Improving the Quality of Nursing Care Services
-- Creating More Pleasant and Rewarding Workplaces --

Products & Service

As the number of elderly people requiring nursing care continues to rise, securing human resources at the frontline has become an urgent issue.In an effort to close the gap between supply and demand, in October 2019, Sompo Care implemented improvements in the compensation of nursing care staff. These improvements aim to contribute to securing and retaining nursing care personnel, to provide convincing working conditions of staff with ample skills and knowledge in recognition of their expertise, and to contribute to the development of the nursing care industry as a whole by improving the social status of care providers.
In addition, Sompo Care is also focusing on improving their working environment, training human resources and developing a human resource system, in order to build a workplace so that nursing care staff can fulfill their potential while motivated.

Improving staff working conditions

As the first step in improving working conditions, in addition to complying with the introduction of the Japanese government's scheme that pays additional compensation to care workers who meet certain requirements, the company invested approximately one billion yen a year to raise the compensation of its employees, focusing on certified care workers, to the top level in the region from October 2019. As the second step, in 2022, the company plans to elevate the compensation of employees who take on nursing care staff leadership roles to the same level as nurses.

Other initiatives to create pleasant and rewarding workplaces

(1) Developed a human resource system
Sompo Care introduced a new human resource system in July 2018. In the system, we established an easy-to-understand grading system and target challenge system, thereby helping its staff envisage long-term career advancement and career choices. We also introduced a retirement allowance system as a means to enable employees to work for many years to come.

(2) Eradicating workplace harassment
Sompo Care regards harassment between our employees and users/their families in particular as a serious problem. We make sure that all employees thoroughly understand the necessary precautions and the initial response to harassment, and we have set up a consultation support system. We also explain to users and their families about disruptive behavior such as harassment to ensure that they fully understand the scope of our services and to prevent them from demanding services outside the scope of their contract with us.

(3) Enhanced education and training system
Sompo Care provides opportunities to acquire practical skills and knowledge at Sompo Care University, the Japanese industry’s only in-house university that opened in April 2016. Starting in fiscal year 2020, we extended our training program for new graduate recruits from 13 days to six months. In addition to nursing care related expertise, we develop human resources who have a keen awareness of self-development and self-realization.

(4) Improving efficiency through the proactive use of ICT and digital technologies
In February 2019, Sompo Care launched Future Care Lab in Japan, a project to create new nursing care services through collaboration between people and technology. We are testing the latest technologies available in Japan and overseas to improve nursing care quality and productivity.
We are also working to reduce the workload of nursing care staff and to improve the quality of nursing care we provide by using conclusive evidence and ICT & digital technologies to prepare for future shortages of care workers.

● Launch of Sompo Care Real Data Management

In May 2020, we launched Sompo Care Real Data Management, which aims to support the independence of nursing care service users and improve their quality of life, as well as to alleviate our employees’ workload and improve productivity at nursing care facilities. Based on a business tie-up between Sompo Holdings and Paramount Bed Holdings, the two companies will build a platform to support unified data management by digitalizing all information associated with business activities, including real data to be aggregated.
We will start by installing Paramount Bed’s Nemuri SCAN in all rooms in our nursing homes (approximately 18,000 rooms). Nemuri SCAN records sleep patterns by monitoring movement (rolling over, breathing, heart rate, etc.) using sensors in a device placed under the mattress.
In the future, we will build a database containing large volumes of real data, including sleep data and other nursing care data such as diet, medication and activities. By using this data, nursing care and nursing staff will be able to improve their expertise, so that they can provide high value-added services to nursing care facility residents. We will strive to enhance residents’ QOL as well as improve the working environment and productivity in the nursing care industry by improving work efficiency.

● Life Planning Meeting to Enrich Your Life
Yume Yui, an Original Notebook for Writing a Living Will, and an Accompanying Educational Booklet

Based on the concept of respecting for human dignity and rights advocated in its management philosophy, Sompo Care focuses on Advance Care Planning (ACP) – Jinsei Kaigi (life planning meetings) to help older people live a fulfilled, dignified and happy life right up until the end of life.
In February 2021, the company produced a notebook for writing a living will, Yume Yui, and an educational booklet on how to hold life planning meetings, to act as a catalyst to holding such meetings with loved ones in preparation for the future. The booklets can be used as a practical tool to facilitate life planning meetings and are available to the public on our website.
Sompo Care started providing in-house training relating to life planning meetings in 2019, and has worked to deepen understanding of the role of such meetings. Going forward, the company plans to expand our initiatives to promote life planning meetings at all our care homes and offices.

  • Both tools were developed under the supervision of Professor Junji Matsuoka MD (Department of Palliative and Supportive Medicine, Okayama University Hospital), a specialist in palliative medicine.

Going forward

To close the gap between supply and demand in the nursing care industry, securing and retaining human resources and improving productivity by improving work efficiency are issues facing not only for us, but the industry as a whole. We will continue to work to improve employee satisfaction by creating a better workplace environment, starting with improving the treatment of care givers. We will also work to communicate the appeal of the nursing care profession and its high level of expertise to improve the social status of nursing care staff and the nursing care industry as a whole.

“Wellbeing Support” Service for Elderly Customers

Products & Service

Sompo Japan Partners has started offering “Wellbeing Support,” an unique service that allows elderly customers to use the company’s products with even greater wellbeing. With this service, the company contacts families or other relatives registered by elderly customers in advance in cases where elderly customers cannot be reached (for example, when they are out for a long period of time or in the case of a disaster) to explain necessary information such as insurance expiry. This service prevents elderly customers’ insurance contracts from expiring and terminating during times they cannot be reached, thus bringing wellbeing to them as well as their families living apart. Since its commencement in September 2013, the service has attracted 33,694 registered customers as of the end of March 2021. The company strives to improve its services continuously with the aim of becoming an “elderly-customer-friendly” insurance agency that meets the needs of a super-ageing society.