Middle-aged Japanese worried about parents developing dementia

Insurer-led study finds lack of awareness and preparation for the onset of dementia in elderly parents

Middle-aged Japanese worried about parents developing dementia

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Many middle-aged Japanese individuals are worried about their parents developing dementia, and are likely unprepared to deal with that eventuality, an insurer-led study has revealed.

A survey by Asahi Mutual Life Insurance polled 1,100 Japanese people in their 40s and 50s and revealed that many were concerned about the approaching need to care for their elderly parents, Nippon.com reported. Almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents said they were most worried about their parents’ health. One health condition stood out - almost half (49.2%) said that they were worried about their parents developing dementia.

When respondents were asked about when they think their parents might develop dementia, 12.6% said that it could happen within the next five years, and 14.5% believed it would be more than five, but less than 10 years from now. Meanwhile, 30.5% said it would likely happen, but they were not sure exactly when. In total, 57.6% said they expect that their parents will develop dementia at some point in the future.

Respondents’ greatest worries about their parents developing dementia are that their parents may cause problems for others (59.9%), the physical and mental burden of caring for their parents (53.6%), and the likelihood that their parents may cause a traffic accident or fire (45.1%).

Furthermore, 84.6% had little to no awareness that when someone develops dementia, their assets are frozen, making it difficult to withdraw bank savings or sell real estate. According to the study, this is one likely reason why 76.4% of respondents have not talked to their parents about disposal of their residence or have talked about it, but not yet made a decision.

The study concluded that while many middle-aged Japanese acknowledge their parents are aging, they are still mostly unprepared to deal with it.

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