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Barcodes are said to help stray dementia patients go home
In addition to memory loss, people with dementia usually also suffer from a change in spatial orientation. It therefore happens again and again that Alzheimer's patients get lost. In Japan, a way has now been found to quickly help those affected home. This is made possible by a mini sticker with a barcode.
Disorientation in Alzheimer's patients
Around 1.5 million people with dementia currently live in Germany, most of whom have Alzheimer's. There are almost 47 million dementia patients worldwide. But the number continues to rise. According to the Alzheimer report, another dementia diagnosis is added every 3.2 seconds worldwide. In addition to memory loss, Alzheimer's patients also display disorientation. They are therefore easily lost. A city in Japan has now found a way to quickly help stray dementia patients back home.
Older people receive stickers with QR codes
There elderly people stick mini-stickers with QR codes on hand or toenails, in which an individual identity number is stored, reports the news agency AFP. It is said that the police can use these scannable labels to assign people who have got lost to an administration. According to the social welfare office of the city of Iruma (north of Tokyo), this then helps to find the relatives.
According to the information, the service is free and a premiere in Japan. A city worker told the news agency that there are already similar stickers for clothes or shoes, but people with dementia do not always wear the same clothes, like everyone else. Hence the idea with the stickers for toenails or fingernails.
The new QR codes, which are only one centimeter in size, therefore last for about two weeks, even if they get wet.
Fast aging society
Japanese society is aging at a rapid pace. In 2060, over 65-year-olds should make up around 40 percent of the population. The number of people who can take care of the elderly is shrinking. In many countries, the health system is not adequately geared towards dementia.
Another problem in Japan is the increasing number of fatal accidents involving older drivers. Around 4.8 million people over the age of 75 still have their license there. Various means have already been devised by the police to persuade them to give up their driving license. For example, in Aichi Prefecture, she recently introduced a 90 yen (75 cents) discount on noodle soups in a restaurant chain for retirees who voluntarily hand over their driver's license. (ad)