Dementia a Spreading Scourge Among Elderly

      April 19, 2012 09:05

      One in 11 senior citizens aged 65 or over suffers from some form of dementia, but more than half of them are not receiving the proper treatment or care, a survey shows.

      According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare on Wednesday, the proportion of those with the disease in the age group rose from 8.4 percent in 2008 to 9.1 percent this year.

      With Korea's aging society, the number of dementia patients among the elderly, which now stands at around 520,000, is expected to increase to 750,000 in 2020 and 1.13 million in 2030, the ministry said.

      But the survey also shows that only 47 percent of the patients are getting medical treatment. Those aged 60 or over are entitled to free tests for dementia at public health centers, and the government provides such patients with subsidies of W30,000 (US$1=W1,138) a month, the ministry said. For more information on government support, visit www.edementia.or.kr.

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