Japan’s aging population is forcing the country to deal creatively with dementia issues. About 25% of Japan’s 128 million people are over 65. By 2060, 40% will be seniors.
That means people with dementia will increase from today’s 4.6 million to 7.3 million by 2025. The country is responding:
- Policy makers have changed the commonly used term for dementia from chiho, meaning “idiocy” to ninchisho (“cognitive disorder”).
- The government is funding research on early detection, training for health workers, support for caregivers and “dementia-friendly” communities.
- The country has also instituted mandatory long-term care insurance that pays for dementia services when needed.