New program addresses shortcomings in dementia detection

New program addresses shortcomings in dementia detection

来源: SHINE 

The incidence rate of local seniors with dementia is between 4.63 percent and 6.5 percent, and 15 percent of elderly people are at risk, the Shanghai Health Commission said on Tuesday.

With a rapidly aging population, Shanghai is introducing a screening and intervention program for elderly dementia prevention and control.

A community-based risk screening, classification and intervention project for dementia has been created for early detection and intervention as well as regular monitoring.

Previously, 98.5 percent of local seniors hadn’t received cognition evaluations and diagnoses. Even among those who were screened, the detection rate wasn’t high due to varying levels of screening standards.

Led by the Shanghai Mental Health Center, local experts carried out research to develop a special cognition disorder evaluation and screening tool. The digital technology-based tool works like a video game that can carry out evaluations within three minutes and has a precise and effective standard.

Those who are determined to be at risk will undergo another more complex screening, which takes about eight minutes and tests things like language, calculations, short-term memory, attention and orientation.

The three-minute screening tool is specially designed for elderly people, which is easy, interesting and sensible to those with the disorder.

So far, more than 10,000 seniors in six districts have been screened with the tool, over 85 percent of whom with the disorder received timely detections.

In the next phase, the local health authority said, the government will enhance public education on elderly dementia and promote the community-based screening program citywide, aiming to meet China’s 2030 health plan’s target that 80 percent of the public is aware of dementia prevention and control.

Moreover, the city will improve a patient classification and transfer system that will guide people to appropriate medical facilities for professional diagnoses and treatments.

A “happy sports program” in Changning District is in its trial phase, a dementia prevention and control program where medics work to improve elderly people’s moods and prevent cognition disorders through physical exercises that leverage traditional Chinese medicine.

A standardized intervention measure for seniors suffering from depression was also introduced to improve their confidence while reducing anxiety and addressing insomnia.