SEOUL, Sept. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will spend 200 billion won (US$167 million) over the next nine years to support dementia research, the health ministry said Thursday, as the rapidly aging country strives to tackle the neurodegenerative disease.
Support to find ways to cope with the chronic illness that generally affects the elderly has become a major concern for the country. South Korea became an aged society in 2017 with 14 percent of its population older than 65, and it is heading towards a super-aged society with a fifth of its population exceeding 65 years of age by 2026.
In the past two years, the country set up 256 dementia care centers that have been used by over 2.6 million people. Greater state support has resulted in the cost of dementia checkups declining from 300,000 won to 150,000 won, with average medical costs for dementia patients dropping to 200,000 won from 480,000 won before the government took charge.
South Korea, moreover, expanded care services for dementia patients to ease the burden on their family members.
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