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New database to help elderly return home


08:52, January 30, 2013

TIANJIN, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- A campaign to help elderly people suffering from memory loss return to their homes has been launched in north China's Tianjin municipality.

A database that records information about elderly Alzheimer's patients will be established as part of the campaign.

Residents will be free to register relatives who have been diagnosed with the disease in the database, said Liu Guoliang, deputy secretary-general of the Tianjin Hetong Elderly Welfare Association, a non-government organization.

Registrants will wear a special bracelet in order to aid in their identification, Liu said.

The campaign, launched on Friday, was organized by the association and supported by the the civil affairs bureau of the city's Nankai district.

"We hope the database will serve as a communication platform where family members can share their experience in taking care of patients, as well as obtain help if their relatives become lost," Liu said.

Ten million Chinese suffer from Alzheimer's disease, accounting for one-fifth of the world's Alzheimer's patients, according to official figures.

The number is expected to grow amid an aging society in China.

China had about 185 million people over the age of 60, or 13.7 percent of the population, as of 2011. By 2053, the number of senior citizens in China is expected to hit 487 million, or 35 percent of the population.

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