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In Japan, want to build a comfortable environment for people with dementia

Japanese authorities are trying to build an environment comfortable for people with dementia: for this prepare volunteers to help such people and take action at the level of local administrations, told RIA Novosti Shunjiro Kurita responsible for the formation of policy in respect of dementia institutes of health and global policy (Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI), major in Japan, an independent non-profit analytical centre for this disease.

As noted by the world health organization, dementia is a syndrome in which there is deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour and ability to perform everyday activities. The disease affects mainly older people but is not a normal condition of aging. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease - it accounts for up to 70% of cases. Worldwide there are about 50 million people with dementia, and every year the world celebrates about 10 million new cases of the disease.

In Japan, the problem of senile dementia is particularly acute due to the rapid aging of the population. According to research, by 2030, one in five Japanese is older than 65 years will suffer from dementia and by 2050 the total number of people with dementia in Japan reaches 10 million people. Annually, according to the National police Department, missing lost thousands of people with dementia. In 2019 lost 17 thousand people, 400 of which have not been found so far.

In 2015, Japan had adopted a comprehensive strategy to develop measures for people with dementia, which "is intended to create societies that honoured the opinion of people with this disease, and also creates comfortable conditions for their life in society." The so-called "New orange plan" is based on the seven main provisions, including "raising awareness of the population regarding the disease," "strengthening measures on early detection of dementia", "advancing research on this problem," "create community facilities for the elderly" and others.

The "new orange plan aims to promote the establishment of societies, suitable for people (with dementia – ed.) as well as the improvement of the living conditions for people (with dementia – ed.) in society by creating conditions for their life in their own surroundings and environment as long as possible", - said the expert.

One of the most effective ways of formation of a comfortable existence of people with dementia specialist called the formation of a complex of measures at the level of local administrations, and also organization of training programmes for volunteers.

In addition, development of measures on the level of local administrations, allows you to maximize the effectiveness of work with local population on raising awareness regarding the disease and conduct training programs for volunteers.

It is noteworthy that one-third of the total number of volunteers under the age of 30. According to Curity of June 2020, more than 3.1 million volunteers and even 20 years.

"The reason that among the helpers of so many young people is that the program is being promoted in schools. Also currently there are several educational programs in social networks," he explained.

More volunteers – more than 4.5 million – has among men over the age of 60. Specialist attributes this to the fact that "older people with a great enthusiasm for volunteer activities in society."

Despite significant progress in program implementation, there are serious problems, said the expert. One such problem is "the lack of targeted investments under the study of dementia".

"This has created a situation where we cannot get the investment from other companies or research centers that, in my opinion, is not effective," said Shunjiro Kurita.

Another problem, according to him, is the statistical inaccuracies in the estimates of people with dementia.

"Accurate data on the number of people with dementia could be obtained by forming the databases, where data was brought after dementia is diagnosed. This would allow you to plan for the future more accurately, and conduct more accurate calculation of the budget required to implement measures", - he added.