Report: Japan’s dementia crisis expected to get even worse by 2025

Japan is facing a worsening health crisis where more of its aging population is expected to be diagnosed with dementia over the next several years.

The AFP news agency is reporting that, by 2025, around 7.3 million Japanese residents, or 20 percent of seniors over the age of 65, will suffer from dementia based on figures from the health ministry.

The current number of people with the disorder is estimated to be at least 4.6 million nationally and 44 million globally.

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump (R) during their meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump during their meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump (R) during their meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump (R) during their meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with U.S. President Donald Trump (R) in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) and U.S. President Donald Trump hold a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
WASHINGTON, DC - President Donald Trump holds a joint press conference in the East Room with Japanese Prime Minister Shinz Abe at the White House in Washington, DC Friday February 10, 2017. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 10: President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump walk down the stairs as they arrive with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International airport as they prepare to spend part of the weekend together at Mar-a-Lago resort on February 10, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Florida. The two are scheduled to get in a game of golf as well as discuss trade issues. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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According to the Alzheimer's Association, "Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Memory loss is an example."

The group adds that "Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia."

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While the problem affects people worldwide, Japan has been particularly hit hard due to the high proportion of elderly people in its population—estimated to be over 25 percent—and relatively low levels of government funding to help provide care. As a result, the country has faced a number of challenges including a surge in elder-abuse cases and the disappearance of thousands of people with dementia, notes The Guardian.

The private sector, meanwhile, has been responding to the crisis by developing products intended to help sufferers and their families.

A company called FBH Japan recently exhibited a safety bed and wheelchair for such patients, and a security firm has distributed a small locator the elderly can carry so caretakers are able to track their whereabouts.

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