Gov't adopts new plan to deal with dementia patients

TOKYO —

The Japanese government adopted a new plan to deal with the increasing number of dementia patients.

According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the number of people suffering from dementia is expected to rise and top 7 million by 2025. The ministry announced in a report earlier this month that it estimated Japan would have 7.3 million dementia sufferers in 2025—which means that one in five Japanese aged 65 or older will suffer from the disease that currently has no cure, TBS reported.

In 2015, the ministry forecasts there will be an expected 5.25 million sufferers.

The ministry says there will be a need for a last 60,000 doctors and primary caregivers to look after dementia patients.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the number of dementia and Alzheimer’s patients is growing around the world and said it is “problem we all face,” TBS reported.

The measures approved on Tuesday, called the New Orange Plan, call for early detection methods, development of new drugs, more in-patient facilities, regular visits to elderly people living alone and offering long-term consultation for sufferers and their families.

Japan Today

  • -4

    warispeace

    This makes sense: The article seems to suggest there won't been enough doctors and primary caregivers for all these dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, so the plan is not to increase their number but to recommend more doctor visits. Hmmm...

    The plan also looks to be a boon for Japan's big pharma industry (no surprise here) as more corporate welfare will go for the development of drugs.

    Is the reason they call it the orange plan because it'll sour us to look more closely at it?

  • 6

    Dofry

    The problem is global and not just Japan even though globally they are in the worst situation with the population skewed more towards the elderly.

    Every country has limited resources to battle the problem. A) the healthcare cost rise significantly and b) there aren't enough caretakers for everyone c) there is no known cure. Two former are due to the same aging problem. There arent't enough young people to replace the old workforce or training for the field. Pulling them from thin air is impossible. Birthrates have been low everywhere and aged outgrew the young.

    That's why some plans are to improve efficiency of the staff and help remove their workload so that more can be done. Also people suffering from dementia have to be later treated in care facilities, thus creating a need for more and more carehomes which is difficult due to previous reasons. If early-onset people could stay in their homes even a bit longer, the costs for society and the caretaking staff reduces. That is why visiting doctors are needed, or why help in place (at home) is valued. We try to do the best we can to achieve the most help we can offer for these people. It's not as simple as to just 'put more people to work in healthcare'. Hope this helps.

    Sincerely, A dementia assistance researcher from Finland and Japan

  • 2

    ReformedBasher

    Thank you Dofry for sharing your knowledge. It's good to hear some facts from an insider.

  • 0

    norton

    I am Psychiatrist in JAPAN As well as treating psychiatric patients, Gvt seems to build segragation system Already many dementia patients gather from all areas of japan and are admitted to mental hospital without hope of discharge。Without social network and loss of family ties elders are alienated GVT proposes to low benefit of elderly care sad!

  • 0

    turbotsat

    norton: Without social network and loss of family ties elders

    As stopgap, Govt should place videoconference stations in rehab facilities, maybe periodic visits by rolling stations in the case of the bedridden.

  • 0

    Magnus Roe

    nortonJan. 29, 2015 - 09:11AM JST

    Not sure what you mean by mental hospitals. Most countries around the world have either dedicated care homes for dementia patients or at least separate wards. This is because of the specialized care they require, flight risk, erratic behaviour and to synchronize their medication, meals as much as possible, however they are not mental institutions. Generally their condition deteriorates rapidly once in these homes, whether caused by lack of stimulation or overzealous medication.

  • 0

    mitoguitarman

    The ministry says there will be a need for "at least" 60,000 doctors and primary caregivers to look after dementia patients.

    It will never happen. Time to hit the road.

  • 1

    turbotsat

    Well, norton is a "psychiatrist in Japan" so he/she'd be the expert on this.

    It doesn't sound too far off from US states with one or a few central "state hospitals" for mental patients.

  • 0

    JoeBigs

    Gov't adopts new plan to deal with dementia patients

    Glad to hear this, dementia is no laughing matter and the sufferers of it and their families are real victims.

    The ministry says there will be a need for a last 60,000 doctors and primary caregivers to look after dementia patients.

    If Japan needs more doctors for the future Japan needs to get folks to start having babies.

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