Over 100,000 elderly people who suffer from dementia are believed to live alone.
A research team led by Yang Dong-won, a neurology professor at the Catholic University of Korea, Seoul St.Mary's Hospital, conducted a study on 2,388 patients over 65 -- 789 men and 1,599 women -- who were diagnosed with dementia at 45 hospitals nationwide. It found that 988 or 41.4 percent lived alone.
According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, there are 580,000 senior citizens suffering from dementia. Among them, only 140,000 have been admitted to nurseries or get help from caretakers who visit patients’ home under state-funded welfare programs.
"It is estimated that around 100,000 elderly patients with dementia live alone, as the 140,000 patients include those who receive support from their family," a medical consultant said.
"It comes as a shocking revelation that so many elderly patients with dementia live alone and have nobody around to look after them. This is a problem that needs to be urgently addressed," Yang warned.