The health and welfare ministry says that the number of elderly people suffering from senile dementia and in need of nursing care has topped 3 million this year. As Japan's population continues to gray, the number of such elderly people will inevitably increase.

It is important that average citizens have a correct understanding of senile dementia. Cooperation between them and experts must deepen within communities. For such cooperation to go smoothly, the public sector needs to make serious efforts to strengthen community nursing care services.

As of this year, people aged 65 or older now number an estimated 30.8 million — an increase of about 7 million in the past 10 years. This increase and the fact that more people have started to visit medical institutions for treatment of senile dementia are believed to be responsible for an increase in the number of senile dementia cases. According to the health and welfare ministry, the number of elderly people with senile dementia who need nursing care has more than doubled in the past 10 years — from 1.49 million in 2002 to more than 3 million in 2012.