Mon, Jan 14, 2013 - Page 11 News List

620,000 people expected to have dementia by 2046
失智症患者 二0四六年達六十二萬

Residents dance for exercise at a retirement home for people with dementia in Hsinchu County on Dec. 17 last year.
老人們去年十二月十七日,於新竹縣專門收住患有失智症者的寧園安養院跳舞運動。

Photo: Huang Mei-chu, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者黃美珠

Last week the Consumers’ Foundation announced that the number of people suffering from dementia in Taiwan is increasing by 10,000 more every year. The number of people with the syndrome at the end of last year had already exceeded 190,000, and it is estimated that the number will reach 620,000 by 2046. What is most concerning, however, is that three out of four people with dementia have never been given a health exam to diagnose the condition. The foundation therefore recommends that the government take initiative in planning and enhancing its methods of informing the public.

Tang Li-yu, secretary-general of the Taiwan Alzheimer’s Disease Association (TADA), says that at present there are seven young people available to take care of each senior citizen, but by 2046 only one young person will be available to care for one senior. The Ministry of the Interior should handle the potential problem as soon as possible, including establishing a government agency specifically for dealing with seniors with dementia, she says.

According to the most recent estimates, the number of people aged 65 and younger with dementia is around 20,000, while the number with the syndrome aged 65 and older is approximately 170,000. Tang says that people typically assume the symptoms are merely a person’s memory getting worse because they are getting on in years, which is why 75 percent of people develop dementia before they have been given a health exam to diagnose the condition.

The risk of dementia begins after the age of 40. Tang says that some of the warning signs include memory degeneration affecting one’s everyday life and work, not being able to complete familiar tasks, difficulties using language to communicate, losing temporal and spatial awareness, developing poor judgment skills, problems with abstract thought, becoming disorganized, sudden changes in behavior and emotion and personality changes, as well as becoming less active and creative.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. abstract adj.

抽象的 (chou1 xiang4 de5)

例: Abstract art is so hard to understand. I’d rather look at something I can easily appreciate.

(抽象藝術太深奧,我寧願看容易欣賞的東西。)

2. cuisine n.

烹飪;菜餚 (peng1 ren4; cai4 yao2)

例: In French cuisine a meal usually begins with an hors d’oeuvre.

(法國料理開始用餐前,通常會先吃開胃小菜。)

3. onset n.

開始 (kai1 shi3)

例: She went to see the doctor at the onset of fever and stomach pains.

(她開始發燒與胃痛時就去看醫生。)


TADA says that preventing dementia should include the “four mores,” which are exercising more, stimulating your brain more, more social interaction, and eating more Mediterranean cuisine, by including more vegetables, fruits, grains, deep-sea fish and olive oil, all of which can help slow the onset of dementia, in one’s diet.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

消基會上週提出警告,失智症人口正以每年超過一萬人的速度增加中,去年底全台失智人口已超過十九萬人,預估二0四六年將增加到六十二萬人,讓人憂心的是,高達四分之三失智者沒接受失智症診斷,建議政府應及早規劃、加強宣導。

台灣失智症協會秘書長湯麗玉指出,國內目前每七名年輕人照顧一名老人,二0四六年將變成一名年輕人照顧一名老人,內政部應提早因應,包括設計適合失智老人的安養機構。

依最新的推估數字來看,六十五歲以下失智症患者約兩萬人,六十五歲以上約十七萬人。湯麗玉提醒,一般人總以人老了,記憶力就會變差了,以致這些患者中有高達四分之三未接受失智症的診斷,就已染病了。

四十歲以後就有患失智的可能,湯麗玉指出,失智症警訊包括記憶減退影響生活和工作、無法勝任原本熟悉的事務、言語表達出現問題、喪失對時間地點的概念、判斷力變差、抽象思考出現困難、東西擺放錯亂、行為與情緒出現改變、個性改變、活動及開創力喪失等。

失智症協會提醒,失智症預防應把握「四多」:多運動、多動腦、多社交互動、多採地中海飲食,即多攝取蔬菜、水果、五穀雜糧、深海魚及橄欖油,將有助延緩病情。

(自由時報記者楊久瑩、陳璟民)

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