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The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Survey on Dementia Reminds the Public of the Importance of Recognizing Dementia Patients in Their Communities; the Government Has Also Launched a Plan for the Long-term Care for Dementia Patients in Communities

  • Data Source:Ministry of Health and Welfare
  • Created:2014-07-31
  • Last Updated:2017-01-11

According to a 2013 epidemiological survey of dementia, conducted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) and quoted in newspapers, it is concluded that nearly 80% of dementia patients have been undiagnosed. The explanation given by the MOHW was as follows: 
To understand the current population of dementia patients and the trend of future growth thereof in Taiwan, the MOHW conducted this survey for the prevalence of dementia between 2011 and 2013 across the nation from a random sample of seniors over 65 years of age, which was carried out by professionally trained interviewers who were assigned to visit these households to learn about the conditions of dementia patients in their communities. Meanwhile, the government also reminded the public, relevant primary care personnel, as well as community public health, social welfare and long-term care providers that seniors suffering from dementia should be carefully detected, timely diagnosed, and treated early. The survey showed that the prevalence of mild-to-above-average dementia from which seniors over 65 suffered was close to 5%, meaning that one in every twenty elders suffered from dementia. 
The government has always focused on encouraging care for dementia patients. To strengthen the prevention of dementia and care for patients thereof, it promulgated “The Dementia Prevention and Care Policy Framework” in 2013, which mainly called for the timely diagnosis, early treatment and delayed occurrence of dementia, as well as providing premium services for patients and families in need with the aims of increasing dignity for elders and maintaining their quality of life. This action plan, deemed an important strategy, has been recently established specifically based on the policy framework to promote the recognition of and care for dementia patients as well as increase awareness among the public and relevant personnel in the fields of primary care, public health, social welfare and long-term care. 
Besides increased awareness, early detection and early treatment, the MOHW has also included the development of community resources in its long-term care service network program by actively planning and building relevant service resources, as well as expanding services to long-term community care for dementia patients. Community services for dementia patients have been widely set up with 120 community daycare centers in 2013, and 23 community service centers for dementia patients – community service locations providing long-term care for those with dementia, including health promotions, phone greetings and consultations, resources transfers, care and visits, as well as education and advocacy, have also been established based on the ongoing promotion of “The Taiwan 368 Care Service Plan – One Day-care Center per Village” in 2014. Moreover, grants have been provided for nursing homes to establish care areas for dementia patients and to meet the demand for multiple care among seniors suffering from dementia. 
Care for dementia patients is a common goal for both the government and the public. The scheduled plan established by the government is to continue increasing awareness among the public and relevant health care personnel, arrange and enhance services to the community, and increase service resources.