Local Dementia Centers (LDCs) in the Republic of Korea

Working towards universal health and social care coverage for dementia is a powerful mechanism for achieving the well-being of people with dementia. In 2017, President Moon Jae-in announced strong policy commitment, “The National Dementia Initiative” to relieve the burden of patients with dementia (PWD) and their caregivers. As part of it, the government has established 256 local dementia centers in each city or country to ensure easy access to a broad range of preventive, diagnostic, and care services for all elderlies including people of dementia and their family members.

Anyone willing to get the service of LDCs among 60 over-aged is allowed to have counselling and free screening test at the LDCs. Depending on the test, the staffs refer the elder to the hospitals for getting an accurate diagnosis.

The LDCs provide customized services including case management, cognitive enhancement program, and dementia prevention program. And the centers implement additional programs specifically designed to support family members of PWD. Besides, mild dementia can participate in a cognitive rehabilitation program of the LDCs while they are waiting for long-term care. 

Moving forward, the Korean government ensure that LDCs provide more variable services to meet people’s needs by strengthening the roles and functions of LDCs.