When you think about the elderly and ways to care for them as they age, most of the time the focus is on the general population and development of services that can meet their needs ‘in the place they call home’ – be it in their residence or an institutional setting like a nursing home.

But as the Japanese are discovering, there is another population that is ageing as well – the inmates in their prisons. The number of prison inmates over 60 has more then doubled in the past 10 years and this will continue to increase, reflecting the general ageing trend. To accommodate the needs of the ageing inmates, Japan is building three new barrier-free jails with disabled access, including elevators, wheelchair ramps and grab-bars in bathrooms. But rest assured, the prisons will not be totally ‘barrier-free’, as reported in an article by Reuters.

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