The risk of death among elderly people with dementia who have gone missing for two to three days can be as high as 40 percent, a neurologist at National Taiwan University Hospital said yesterday, urging more awareness of such situations.
Not all scenarios of missing people have a fortunate conclusion like the seven-year-old Japanese boy, whose parents allegedly abandoned him in a forest and was missing for six days before being found safe, neurologist Chiu Ming-jang (邱銘章) said.
At a conference at the hospital about long-term care for elderly people, Chiu said that 6,000 to 7,000 people go missing every year in Taiwan.
“Some [of the missing elderly people] are given food and water or taken to the police by people they meet, with more than 90 percent of the people found, but some cases do not end so well,” Chiu said.
Studies show that the death rate among elderly people who go missing for two or three days can reach about 40 percent, usually because of dehydration.
Chiu said that a former patient of his — a man in his 70s with dementia and cardiovascular disease — went out on his own for more than 10 hours before he was found dead in a riverbed because of sunburn and dehydration.
According to government statistics, there are about 2.94 million elderly people — 65 or above — in Taiwan, accounting for 12.5 percent of the total population as of the end of last year. This figure is estimated to reach nearly 5 million, about 20 percent of the population, in 2025.
Chiu said that elderly people who participate in community activities, get regular exercise and receive cognitive stimulation are less likely to develop dementia.
Chiu said the Clinical Research Center for Dementia in South Korea in 2008 promoted the expansion of a screening program, which saw diagnosis rates for the condition rise from about 30 percent to 70 percent.
He said that the government should include dementia screening in health examinations and establish a reporting system to collect more information about dementia patients to help set policy.
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,