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Since Korea is an aging society, it stands to reason that the number of dementia patients
in the country would be on the rise. But a new report shows that the number of
people with the disease is growing at an accelerating rate, which has experts and medical professionals
sounding the alarm. Kim Ji-yeon reports.
One out of every ten Koreans who are in their 70s or older have dementia.
As of last year,... the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service says more than 400-thousand
people were suffering from dementia-related mental diseases,... which is nearly twice
the figure from four years earlier. The main symptoms of dementia can include
memory loss, sudden mood swings... and a deterioration of one′s sense of smell.
Reducing the effects,.. doctors say,... requires early action.
"Patients get better easily with medication and supervision when treated in the initial
stages of the disease. But this is not the case for those in the final stages."
In order to prevent dementia, experts recommend a healthy lifestyle that includes reading
and learning new activities to stimulate the brain.
At least 30 minutes of regular exercise a day... at least three times a week can also
help. Experts are also calling on the government
to institute preventive measures,... as dementia stands to take a financial toll on the country.
Medical expenses for treating dementia in Korea reached 533 million U.S. dollars in
2013,... double the total from just four years earlier.
To provide support,... the government has been increasing the number of dementia care
centers throughout the country,... and has adjusted the basic pension plan.
More than 4 million people who are over the age of 65 and in the bottom 70 percent income
bracket... began receiving pension payments of up to 90 dollars last month.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.