Number of Taiwan Alzheimer's patients increasing rapidly: CF
By Ann Yu, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan currently has roughly 190,000 people diagnosed with Alzheimer's, according to a report by the Consumers Foundation (CF), while the number continues to grow at a fast pace.
January 9, 2013, 12:09 am TWN
In a report released by the Department of Health (DOH), the prevalence of Alzheimer's patients in Taiwan doubles at every five years of age with the rate at 30.9 percent for those above 90.
Secretary-General of Taiwan Alzheimer's Disease Association (TADA) Tang Li-yu raised awareness yesterday about Taiwan's lack of facilities and human services for Alzheimer's sufferers, saying that most people assume memory deterioration is a normal phenomenon for most aging people.
“This will cost some people an early diagnosis of Alzheimer's and miss out on the right treatment at an early stage,” she said. According to the CF, three-fourths of Taiwan's 190,000 patients with Alzheimer's have never been officially diagnosed.
Tang also added that most care centers do not have specialized caretakers who are trained in helping those with Alzheimer's disease. “Care centers provide the elderly a well-facilitated sleeping environment; caretakers are usually trained to feed and support the elderly in walking or help them get to places, but what they don't realize is that most Alzheimer's patients need to engage in activities,” she said.
Tang explained that the danger of an Alzheimer's patient comes from them forgetting where they are, leading them to wander around when no one is on the watch.
“If they are engaged in busy activities during the day, such as playing cards, karaoke, or taking walks,” Tang said, “It would reduce a lot of their anxiety.”
The CF urged the government to raise awareness of Alzheimer's, as it will become a major social issue in the future. With the longevity of the human race increasing, the risks of one being diagnosed with Alzheimer's has greatly increased, the CF said.
As prevention measures are more affective than treatment upon diagnosis of Alzheimer's, the CF has also acknowledged the importance of a healthy lifestyle and occasional active brain exercises.