June 9 2020
TOKYO – A Japanese government institution has developed a smartphone app designed to prevent elderly people from developing dementia amid restraints on going out and other activities away from home due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology believes that elderly people could be at greater risk of suffering dementia, as well as seeing a decrease in their physical strength to levels requiring care support, as a result of refraining from going out.
The app, which can be downloaded for free, allows users to create routes for walking to parks or other facilities and shows 50 kinds of exercises that can be done at home.
The institute will later add more functions to the app, such as providing a video for users to exercise while doing calculations and word games. In addition, the center plans to help elderly people use food delivery services of Uber Eats and Amazon’s online shopping services to keep them connected with society.
According to a survey conducted by the center on April 23-27, when the whole country was under the government’s state of emergency over the coronavirus crisis, only 50 pct of responding elderly people said they were taking care to exercise.