Initiative: Seongdong District's HYO Policy
Institution: Seongdong District Office
Problem: Korea has an ageing society. In 2019, older people (65 and up) accounted for 14.9 per cent of Korea’s population, a figure that is expected to exceed 46.5 per cent by 2067. In Seongdong District in Seoul the number of older persons aged 65 or older stands at 14.4% and those aged 75 or older (the “old-old”) at 5.8%. The ‘old-old’, often face a range of issues including economic poverty, healthcare, mental health issues, accessibility barriers, and social isolation. At the same time Korea is witnessing a shift in responsibility for older person care from the family to the government, presenting challenges on how to ensure care.
Solution: Seongdong District introduced its older person friendly healthcare programme, the “HYO Policy” in a bid to make healthcare services more accessible to ‘old-old’ persons suffering from serious economic poverty, frailty, and social isolation. The ‘HYO Team’, composed of doctors and nurses, provides home health visits to the old-old in five areas: health checkups, chronic disease management, depression and dementia management, and financial support for medical bills. In 2018, the healthcare management programme for the intensive management of the old-old with frailty issues was created which included socialization programmes to combat isolation and depression and increased the physical accessibility of welfare services through the building of a medical welfare network, including through partnerships with private clinics, welfare services and care providers at various services points.
Impact: To date, 24.2% of old-old have registered with the programme, and 6.8% are in the intensive programme group. Of those registered, 75 per cent of old-old persons with diabetes have controlled the disease, and their social relationship rating has risen from 23.9 to 31.6, while their depression rating has fallen from 19.6 to 17.7. In addition, unmet medical treatment stood at only 8.7 per cent, with over 90,023 cases benefitting from the partnership between the HYO Team and private clinics, welfare services, and care service providers.