Taiwan pushes for comprehensive dementia care

  • Date: 2018-09-20
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

At the Cabinet’s weekly meeting Thursday, Premier Lai Ching-te said the government will be devoting NT$9 billion (US$292.3 million) from 2018 to 2019 to provide comprehensive services for the prevention and treatment of dementia. This comes in addition to coverage for dementia patients over the age of 50 under the government’s long-term care 2.0 plan.

In Taiwan, the estimated number of people suffering from dementia has exceeded 270,000 and is expected to swell to 460,000 in 15 years’ time. This is a critical issue requiring substantial attention, the premier said. As such, the government will designate the condition as a priority public health issue for the future with efforts to focus on raising public awareness, building a broad network of treatment and care services, and making more widely accessible support for families of dementia patients.

He directed the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) to continue integrating resources among local governments and private professional groups, develop dementia-supportive communities, and implement comprehensive prevention and care measures that improve the quality of life. The Ministry of Education will also review education curricula to begin dementia education in schools.

The lack of awareness or information by dementia sufferers and their families can lead to misdiagnoses or delays in treatment, the premier said, and he instructed the MOHW to intensify public awareness campaigns and set up more dementia community service locations. The ministry should also strengthen management services at integrated dementia care centers, in order to assist suspected dementia patients in reaching a proper diagnosis, provide care counseling as well as coordination and referral services, and follow up on personal care and medical treatment for patients. All of these efforts will allow patients as well as caregivers to receive support while preserving personal dignity and quality of life.