The number of cases of financial misconduct by legal professionals serving as guardians for people suffering dementia or intellectual disabilities hit an all-time high of 37 in 2015, a Supreme Court survey obtained by Kyodo News showed Wednesday.

Financial damage totaled some ¥110 million in 2015, signaling the need for a crackdown on such misconduct as the aging nation increasingly relies on adult guardianships to care for the more than 4 million people with dementia.

But the number of misconduct cases involving all types of guardians, including family members, fell from a year earlier. It was the first such fall since June 2010, when the top court began keeping track of such incidents. The survey is based on reports from family courts nationwide.