Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Record Number of Missing Dementia Patients in 2020

In 2020, there was a record high number of missing dementia patients in Japan - 17,565! That was up 86 from 2019, according to the National Police Agency.  Of that number (17,565!), 214 were not found by the end of the year. Police data showed that 74.2 percent of dementia sufferers who went missing were found the same day, while 99.3 were found within a week, so it's not quite as bad as it sounds. Still, there are a lot of people wandering off.  Where do they go while they are missing?

According to estimates by the Health Ministry, by 2025 the number of people in Japan suffering from dementia is likely to expand to 7 million, or one in five people over 65. Some local governments have started providing mobile global positioning system tracking devices for dementia patients, in order to help find missing dementia patients.

I had no idea there were so many dementia patients who go missing! I often see elderly people walking down the street.  Maybe some of them are missing. Is this an issue where you live?


diamondc said...

Pamela: This is shocking news, it makes me sad to know this is happening, I am wondering where their family members are.
We do not have that problem here in Minnesota, maybe three or four go missing a year but are found very soon after going missing.
Thank-you for sharing this with us.


Queeniepatch said...

I think this statistics is misleading. If you are reported missing after having been gone for only an hour or so you might be included in those figures. Another reason that the number has increased is that more elderly people live alone and there are fewer housewives. Until quite recently we had three or four generations living together and there was at least one adult at home all the time (usually the oldest son's wife). If there is a housewife she will immediate notice if grandfather has left the house. Today, however, this grandfather might live alone as his son's family live in a house of their own, or his daughter-in-law is working outside the home. I am sure in future we will be needing more GPS monitoring systems to track the wherabouts of the elderly.

kiwikid said...

Occasionally we hear of someone missing on the news here but is not a huge problem that I know of.

Vireya said...

I think this is pretty common for people with dementia. I don't think there are any stats kept here, but I know it happens all the time. People are found wandering and lost, and the police get the job of trying to find out where they have come from and getting them home again.

My mother's residential aged care home has a code on the door to get out, which changes every month. Those who are "with it" know how to get out, but people with dementia normally can't manage it. But even there, one man got out a couple of weeks ago, and whoever found him took him to the emergency dept of the local hospital. They then had the job of trying to find out where he belonged. That is a challenge when someone is carrying no ID, and can't tell you where they live.

Jeanie said...

I'm not aware of it as such, although on occasion, a dementia patient who is still hat home might escape and you hear an alert. But not through care homes which are pretty tightly locked down.

Leonore Winterer said...

My great uncle is suffering from demetia (or alzheimer's, most likely). He's in a care home now and we're constantly scared that he might try and wander off!