1.8 million Vietnamese to suffer from cognitive decline by 2050: expert

By Le Nga   December 7, 2022 | 10:19 pm PT
1.8 million Vietnamese to suffer from cognitive decline by 2050: expert
Old people sit on a bench next to Hanoi's Hoan Kiem Lake. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Around 1.8 million Vietnamese would suffer from cognitive decline in 2050 amid a rapidly aging population, an Australian expert has warned.

At a conference Tuesday on improving the response against cognitive decline in Vietnam, Nguyen Tuan Anh from the National Aging Research Institute at Australia's Swinburne University of Technology said Vietnam is among the 10 fastest aging countries in the world.

Around 12% of its population comprises elderly now, but the rate would increase to 28% in 2050, he said.

"A quickly aging population would have many consequences, and so Vietnam needs to have a national plan to respond to such a forecast. It is of vital importance."

Around 531,000 people suffered from cognitive decline in 2019, but that number could triple to 1.8 million by 2050, studies have shown.

But the country lacks the healthcare and social care capabilities to deal with cognitive decline. There are only around 27 hospitals and clinics that treat the condition, most of them in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.

Experts said a long-term care model for those with cognitive decline has not been developed, and some modest facilities are available at places like nursing homes.

In the general community, people with cognitive decline usually depend on their families and caretakers and not trained professionals.

Anh called for improving the healthcare capabilities of local medical stations to enhance access to long-term care and train caretakers in the family.

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