In light of the increasing number of senior citizens with dementia, the government is planning to set up specialized nursing homes and provide services to care for dementia patients, officials from the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) said yesterday.
According to tallies by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, there were 18,000 people with dementia as of the end of September last year, which represents a rise of 5.9 percent compared with the previous year.
Of these dementia patients, 85.4 percent were 65 or older, the tallies show.
CEPD officials pointed out that the caregiving industry is one of the target industries included in the "service sector development guidelines" drafted by the council.
Under the guidelines, the establishment of nursing homes and respite services are some of the projects set to be promoted this year, the officials said.
They said that the CEPD will also promote a subsidized home care service project for elderly people with dementia and the physically and mentally challenged, in addition to a second facility designed to provide community care for the elderly.
As a declining fertility rate and the aging of Taiwan's population will make health care for the elderly an ever more important issue, the CEPD will integrate existing community resources to improve local care services in the future, they said.