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Setting targets for dementia prevention gives false impression

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A new government plan to cope with the problem of growing ranks of people with dementia could create potentially harmful misconceptions and misunderstandings about this condition.

The government last week presented new draft guidelines for its policy efforts to tackle this challenge to a panel of experts tasked with providing advice on the problem.

In addition to the previously adopted policy goal of building an inclusive society of “cooperative way of life” that offers a secure and friendly living environment for dementia patients, the new policy guidelines would also stress the importance of prevention. The plan would set numerical targets, such as lowering the ratio of dementia patients among people in their 70s by 6 percent by 2025.

Critics say such specific numerical targets for prevention could promote the misunderstanding that there are effective preventive measures to ensure that people will not develop dementia and reinforce the negative images of the condition. The government........

© The Asahi Shimbun