Japan Plans First Targets For Dementia

Japan plans first targets for dementia

Japan's government plans to set its first-ever targets for reducing the number of people in their 70s with dementia.

The government says it aims to delay the onset of dementia in patients by one year over the next 10 years.

It plans to compile policy guidelines next month outlining specific measures for a comprehensive strategy it drew up in 2015. Draft guidelines were submitted to a meeting of an expert panel on Thursday.

The two-pillar guidelines are to focus on preventing dementia and creating a dementia-friendly society in which people can continue to live in their neighborhoods even after they develop the disorder.

Specifically, the government aims to reduce the proportion of dementia patients among people aged between 70 and 74 from the current 3.6 percent to 3.4 percent over the next six years.

It also hopes to lower the figure for people aged between 75 and 79 from 10.4 percent to 9.8 percent.

The government plans to encourage elderly people to regularly visit recreation centers where they can take part in exercise and other activities.

It says it will formulate specific measures based on opinions of patients and their families.

Japan's health ministry estimates that about 5 million, or one in seven, people aged 65 or older suffer from dementia. It expects about 7 million, or one out of every five, people in the age group to develop the disorder in 2025.