ジョセフ E. フィッシャー/The Message From Josef E Fischer

Caring for the elderly in the 21st century is becoming a very serious and expensive situation in not only Japan but in the United States as well. It is not just a financial issue but a social one too. It is becoming increasingly more difficult for families to provide care for their elders. Most elders prefer to remain in their own homes or the homes of their children thus putting a strain on everyone involved. Both the United States and Japan have a rapidly rising aged population due to several factors, one being due to a decline in birth rates and another being increased  longevity due to improvements in health care.

Both countries are struggling to care for the elderly with malnutrition being one of, if not, the biggest health concern. Professor Higashiguchi makes an ambitious proposal with WAVES Japan to tackle the issue not only for the elderly but the Japanese of all ages. Proper nutrition ensures better health and well-being decreasing the need for hospitalization. This helps to decrease the financial strain on families as well as the hospital and social system infrastructure.

Malnutrition contributes significantly to morbidity in the elderly. It is defined as, according the Merriam-Webster dictionary,” faulty nutrition due to inadequate or unbalanced intake of nutrients”.  Malnutrition in the elderly can lead to muscle wasting and weight loss. Intervention is necessary for the individual or they will continue to decline and thus have a decreased quality of life; putting the burden on families and the social system. We cannot stress enough that the elderly as well as all individuals the need for proper nutrition.  Not meeting the requirements for energy and protein needed, in an individual, can lead to poor concentration and irritability making it difficult for others to care for them.   This can lead to loneliness and isolation which in turn will cause an individual, especially an elderly one, to become undernourished. Many adverse health outcomes are caused by malnutrition, the most serious is death which occurs regularly.

As we age our energies decrease along with our need for caloric intake. One also starts to have a loss of smell and taste. Both can contribute to one eating less. One way to help increase nutrition is by taking protein supplements. They are rapidly becoming popular in the United States. One example is a high protein powder mixed with liquid and taken orally. One packet is 20 grams of protein. Most older patients can tolerate two packets or 40 grams; if the elderly person can tolerate 40 grams of protein this will allow them to survive indefinitely; it available for the elderly to receive it.

Health is defined as the level of function and metabolic efficiency of a living organism. In humans it is the ability of individuals or communities to adapt and self-managed when facing physical, mental or social changes1.  The World Health Organization has defined it in the broader sense as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Malnutrition in the aging population diminishes all these of qualities.

Let us commend Professor Higashiguchi in his efforts to combat malnutrition in Japan. I believe that avoiding malnutrition is relatively easy and not too expensive. One merely has to think about it. In addition to thinking about it, one has to try and work hard to get the nutrients into the patient. The rewards is a live active patient.

Thank you for asking us to do this.

All the best,

The Message From Josef E Fisvher フィシャー教授からのメッセージ




出生率の低下と医療技術の進歩による寿命の延長により、米国と日本は共に急速な高齢化社会を迎えています。こうした状況下において、高齢者の低栄養は最も大きな社会問題の一つとなっています。この問題に真っ向から取り組むために高い志のもと、東口髙志教授は「WAVES Japan」を提言しました。これは高齢者だけでなく、日本の全ての人が対象となる社会活動です。正しい栄養摂取により、人は医療や介護に依存することなく、健やかに幸せに生きることができるというメッセージを人々に投げかけます。そしてこの活動は高齢者を抱える家族の負担を減らすばかりでなく、地域社会の医療経済にも深く貢献します。







WAVES Japan創立に向け、あなたたちに敬意と感謝のエールを送ります。

ジョセフ E. フィッシャー※

エリカ N. スレイバン