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GROWING OLD WITH DIGNITY / foCuS finlAnd dignity Text: Satu Jussila growing old with FWBC, a group of private companies, is responding to elder care needs by offering products and services that helps seniors to stay active and healthy. managing director of FWBC Finland Oy, which stands for the Finnish Well-being Centre. FWBC is made up of companies that provide things like specialised bathrooms, exercise equipment, furniture and safety watches that alert health-care staff when a senior is in trouble. Finpro, an association of private companies, is also a shareholder and helps FWBC in business consultation abroad. three centres in Japan Currently, an elderly-care facility called the Sendai-Finland Well-being Centre is operating in the city of Sendai, in Japan. A second FWBC has opened in the city of Agano in March 2009 and, recently, a third project in the city of Saijo started construction in September 2009. "We provide know-how in elderly care and services, interior design and hightech products. We train staff in how to use the facilities and assist in developing the architecture so as to maximise the functionality of the space. Deciding where to place equipment is really important," summarises Tervaskari. Z T he amount of people age 65 and older is growing worldwide and, while this is good news, many countries are facing challenges in providing quality care for their elderly. Statistics from the United Nations estimates that global life expectancy will reach 75 years by 2050. In developed regions, the projected increase is from 76 years today to 82 years by mid-century. FWBC Finland Oy, a group of 11 private companies providing services for seniors, was founded as a result of this growing need. Formed in 2003, the company packages well-being products and services for elderly-care facilities. FWBC projects are currently operating in Japan, and the company is looking to other international markets. Preventative care "The Finnish model looks to preventative care that keeps seniors active, which we've found is vital to improving the quality of life," explains Hilkka Tervaskari, { } The global life expectancy will reach 75 years by 2050. 25

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