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'Dementia towns': how Japan is evolving for its ageing population

By the Guardian

With one in five elderly Japanese predicted to have dementia by 2025, entire communities are working to improve the lives of older citizensRead full story

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  • I read somewhere that someone in the US develops Alzheimer every 66 seconds and 50 million or so of our population is aged 65 and older. So it would behoove us to look to countries like Japan and the Netherlands and implement similar measures.

    I’ve been following the Dutch on how they have been turning retirement/nursing homes into dorm rooms for college students. I thought this was a fabulous idea, as it mitigates the loneliness experienced by the elderly, gives them a connection to the outside

    I read somewhere that someone in the US develops Alzheimer every 66 seconds and 50 million or so of our population is aged 65 and older. So it would behoove us to look to countries like Japan and the Netherlands and implement similar measures.

    I’ve been following the Dutch on how they have been turning retirement/nursing homes into dorm rooms for college students. I thought this was a fabulous idea, as it mitigates the loneliness experienced by the elderly, gives them a connection to the outside world, and can delay the onset of dementia.

    As a society, we really do need to start talking more about aging.

  • This is by no means a Japanese problem. We all need to rethink how we look after elderly and chronically ill patients. http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/seattle-preschool-nursing-home-transforms-elderly-residents/story?id=31803817

    Growing old, needing care, the horrors of dementia all of this can be helped by mindfulness and empathy. We mightn’t be able to solve this kind of affliction right now but we can make it easier. We have to do more for those living it and those affected by it.

  • Seems common sense that we need to make big efforts to take care of the elderly. We all get old at some point :/

  • The numbers are staggering, given the population size. By 2025, more than 7.5 million Japanese over the age of 65 will have some form of dementia.

  • Japan is also suffering from lack of day-care centers for children. Maybe elderly people can help young parents by looking after their children collectively. For example, a couple of hours after school when parents need to work late; Each day-care center can have higher capacity with elderly people's help; a few weeks for a summer camp-like homestay in the case for rural regions. Kids love to be with good listeners. 

    Human interaction but also a sense of obligation and being useful to the society could help preventing dementia...

  • Cafes for those with dementia and their caregivers - wonderful idea

  • According to the documentary film

    " Do You Know What My Name Is ? ", (https://youtu.be/uzwqhxS4svI)

    japanese kumon programs counteract various forms of dementia.

    Patients were given simple exercises in reading, writing, arithmetic and memory retention by daily 30-minute sessions.

  • Japan is increasingly setting the pace for how to approach some of the chronic issues of our age. A post-Brexit UK would do well to look and learn.

  • The image of aging society in my mind is that there are a lot of elderly who cannot go out home because of their physical ability. However, this article made me realize that we have to consider about elderly who have troubles in their mental ability. I wonder what kind of town management can support them...

  • Makes sense to have a proactive approach.

  • The inmates will run the ward. This is our future. Just as we learn about mental development from infants, hopefully we will also learn from dementia patients. I hope I’m nice when I lose my mind.

  • This is just one of the many societal crises that Japan is currently experiencing, and the rest of the world will be facing in the decades to come. We should pay attention to the solutions that work.

  • Fascinating article and depressing too. One thing the authors’ don’t explain is whether all countries are facing 20% rates of dementia in the older population. Does japan have a higher rate or is it just that the life expectancy is so high? The Netherlands has, by all accounts, some fantastic residences for people with dementia but I imagine they would be expensive to replicate in Japan. In any case, care giving will be a growth area in the future.

  • I didn’t know that the ratio of becoming dementia is different in each countries. The problem is that many patients of dementia in Japan don’t have any physical issues, but have dementia.

    My aunt (about 55 years old at that time) never came back since she went out for a walk 7 years ago. She was suffering from dementia but wanted to go out by herself because she was a healthy and active woman. Police told us that she might be lost on her way to come back home due to the dementia. Tons of regrets

    I didn’t know that the ratio of becoming dementia is different in each countries. The problem is that many patients of dementia in Japan don’t have any physical issues, but have dementia.

    My aunt (about 55 years old at that time) never came back since she went out for a walk 7 years ago. She was suffering from dementia but wanted to go out by herself because she was a healthy and active woman. Police told us that she might be lost on her way to come back home due to the dementia. Tons of regrets are remaining, and we still wish she could come back home one day.

    I heard that dementia happens because people don’t need to think about the fear of death.

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