Nearly 86 percent of senior citizens placed in health facilities for elderly people to undergo rehabilitative treatment are senile, according to a report by the Health and Welfare Ministry.
In addition, 39.3 percent of them were both senile and bedridden, indicating the worsening health of those being admitted to the facilities.
Such facilities are considered a sort of halfway house between home and hospital — a place where senior citizens who are bedridden or senile are treated if their symptoms are relatively stable.
Ministry officials attributed the high percentage of senility to the fact that a growing number of old people are transferring to these facilities from other medical institutions such as mental hospitals.
The survey, which took figures as of last Oct. 1, covered 2,420 facilities nationwide, 236 more than in the previous year.
Of these, 66.3 percent said they increased the number of nursing care personnel to deal with the rise of senile patients, while 19.9 percent said they had a special ward for those whose symptoms were especially serious. Both figures indicated a rise from the previous year’s survey.
The total number of elderly people in these health facilities was 223,664. Of this figure, 191,618 were senile, a rise of 15.3 percent, or 25,420 people, from the previous year.
Meanwhile, 79.8 percent of those who were admitted to the health facilities stayed for less than six months.
Roughly 41 percent of those who were discharged went home, down 5.4 percent from the previous year. Those who were admitted to medical facilities upon their discharge came to 38.8 percent, marking a slight increase, about 2 percentage points, from the previous year.
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