Creating a Dementia-Supportive Society in Japan

When it comes to helping people with dementia and their families, what do the US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Japan have in common?

This Group of Eight Industrialized Nations gathered in London last December for the G8 summit on dementia. Now, in response to the summit's aim to transform care for people with dementia around the world, Japan plans to build a national strategy to better care for people with dementia and their families.

Over 4.5 million people in Japan are affected by the illness, and in 10 years “an estimated 7.3 million people in Japan will have dementia—” reports an article from The Star, “—more people than live in Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro, or the entire GTA.”

To handle the rising pressures, Japan intends to revise its health ministry's five-year plan on dementia care, and the ministry plans to conduct a first-ever nationwide study on dementia development and prevention, “following 100,000 men and women over the age of 40 without dementia.”

The study will investigate participants’ diets, exercise habits, and whether they smoke, and keep track of data such as genotype and blood sugar level fluctuations to assess connections to the development of dementia.

Japan aims to draft its new strategy by the end of 2014, and to include in it a call to professionals and nonprofessionals alike to help ensure that people with dementia and their families are better supported, particularly within their own communities.

What are the top things that countries, cities, and communities need to do to support individuals and families that are dealing with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia? Please share your thoughts below!

You might also be interested in