Replus exercise program at temporary housing
Daigo is a physical therapist, who used to work for a traditional nursing home in the Kanto region of Japan. When the Great Eastern Earthquake occurred, he traveled hours from home to come to Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture to volunteer to help elderly people affected by the disaster.
The relief activities became a turning point for him. An elderly woman was separated from her family to live in a tiny temporary housing on her own. Losing her motivations to go out to meet with people and run errands, she eventually developed disuse syndrome. One day she fell down, became bedridden, and passed away from pneumonia. Another elderly man became severely depressed while nursing his old wife, and committed suicide.
Experiencing these losses made Daigo to move to Ishinomaki and start Replus to prevent these unfortunate and unnecessary pains and losses of elderly people.
Replus is a for-profit organization that has been developing advanced programs for the elderly. Their goal is for the elderly to improve their health so they can become self-sufficient once again. For example, there are elders who graduate from Replus’ services and move on to their daily lives as self-sufficient individuals, while others also improve their health and give back to the organization by supporting the community and those in need of these rehabilitation services. At the core of Replus are the medical and nursing professionals who provide professional rehabilitation services, as well as the local residents and community members that provide continuous support.
WIT has supported Replus since 2015 in various ways. Since Replus’s team was mostly therapists and nursing-care experts, WIT connected them with many business professionals to help their management. One of them is Mr. Fujishima, a corporate executive and now CEO of Recruit Management Solutions Co., Ltd., whom we matched with Replus as their mentor. After a year of monthly mentorship, Mr. Fujishima became Replus’s board member.
WIT provided a grant to Replus to conduct an impact assessment (SROI) to assess the positive impact of their activities on their beneficiaries, and how it could save future expenses on nursing and medical care.
In 2017, WIT supported Replus’s fundraising to receive a two-year grant from Toyota Foundation to develop Replus’ new program, a home-visit service for the elderly whose families live far away from them. WIT facilitated a semi-annual team discussion for Replus’ team members to identify their core challenges and discuss solutions, including how to build a strong team and how to maintain the quality of their services as their programs expand geographically.
At WIT, we feel very blessed to support and work with such innovative and committed social entrepreneurs.
It is your generous support that has made our activities possible. Thank you so much!!
With heartfelt gratitude,
Mio Yamamoto and WIT Team