Asian countries are taking various initiatives and programmes to support dementia patients.
Australia: Australia was one of the first countries to design comprehensive dementia-specific policy initiatives at a national level. The country has various initiatives and programmes and has earmarked $185 million for dementia research. Australia’s latest achievement is the creation of the National Dementia Action Plan (2023-2033), a collaborative effort between the Australian Government and state/territory administrations. This 10-year plan prioritises the involvement of individuals with dementia, along with their families and caregivers, in all aspects of dementia-related initiatives and programmes.
Singapore: The Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) leads the coordination of aged care services, with a strong emphasis on creating a vibrant care community that prioritises dementia-friendly initiatives. The National
Dementia Strategy (NDS) provides guidance to the Ministry of Health (MOH) and healthcare institutions, highlighting the importance of awareness and early detection. Notably, over 324,000 individuals have been reached through outreach teams, while government subsidies of up to 80 per cent are accessible for dementia care within healthcare institutions.
Japan: Japan’s latest strategy for dementia, the National Framework for Promotion of Dementia Policies, was established in 2019. Continuing until 2025, it emphasises five core pillars: enhancing public awareness and empowering individuals with dementia to voice their experiences, emphasising prevention, backing healthcare, caregiving, and long-term care services, fostering inclusive environments, aiding early-onset dementia, and promoting social participation, and furthering research, industry growth, and international partnerships.
Korea: South Korea has implemented a series of measures to address dementia care and support. These include establishing dementia care centres at 256 public health centres for counselling, medical checkups, prevention programmes, and case management. Dedicated wards for severe cases are being introduced in 55 public long-term care hospitals, with plans to expand to more shopitals. Citizens aged 66 or older undergo cognitive impairment tests every 2 years, and public guardians are assigned to those unable to make decisions. The government developed a plan on National Dementia Research and Development and plans to invest KRW 200 billion for 9 years starting from 2020 to support mid-to-long term research on dementia.
China: China has launched a National Dementia Plan in 2020 under the Health Commission’s priorities, part of the
Ministry for Health and Healthy China 2019-30 initiative, with a focus on AD. Additionally, the Action Plan for Healthy China 2030 encompasses dementia provisions and services to support elderly mental health.
Australia’s Flinders University is spearheading a programme with a $400,000 grant to assist caregivers of China’s 11 million dementia patients. The programme adapts the World Health Organisation’s iSupport for Dementia initiative, providing online training to alleviate challenges and enhance caregivers’ quality of life.