Toronto Star

Dementia daycare


In Japan, daycares are a popular option, not just for toddlers but also for people with dementia. “Six or seven per cent of the whole over-65 population goes to daycare,” says John Creighton Campbell, an expert on long-term care in Japan. “It takes people out of their home environmen­t and gives their family caregivers a break.” Inside a charming bungalow, five staff and a nurse care for a dozen people — one of about 300 such daycares in Tokyo’s largest borough.

Today, the sounds of sizzling fish and clinking porcelain spill out of the kitchen; twice a week, the patients, ranging from ages 59 to 98, are encouraged to cook their meals. On the menu: salmon, soba noodles and miso soup.

The daycare’s goal is to keep everyone physically and mentally active, in hopes of slowing the disease’s progressio­n. Daily activities include day trips and art therapy and storytelli­ng sessions. The daycare also provides transporta­tion so that family caregivers don’t have to scramble after work to pick up their loved ones.

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