Government of Canada releases Canada’s first dementia strategy

Government of Canada press release – Dementia is having a significant and growing impact in Canada, with more than 419,000 Canadians aged 65 years and older diagnosed with dementia. Two-thirds of those diagnosed are women, and as our population ages, the number of Canadians affected by dementia is expected to increase. Dementia affects not only the person living with dementia but also their families, caregivers and communities.

On Wednesday, June 26/2019, on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre, spoke about the release of A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire during the Age Works – Art of Ageing Forum held at Niagara College in Welland, Ontario. This first national dementia strategy focuses on preventing dementia, advancing therapies and finding a cure, as well as improving the quality of life of people living with dementia and caregivers. Budget 2019 proposed $50 million in funding to help advance the Strategy.

“What we heard from stakeholders across the country, including those living with dementia and caregivers, had a direct impact on the development of Canada’s first national dementia strategy. By working together with all orders of government and different sectors to implement this Strategy, we can advance prevention and treatment efforts, and improve the quality of life for those living with dementia as well as their families and caregivers,” said The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health.

The Strategy is a result of collaborative efforts between governments, researchers, health professionals, people living with dementia, and caregivers. It was informed by evidence and advice obtained from consultations across the country. This included valuable input received during the national dementia conference, as well as advice from the Ministerial Advisory Board on Dementia.

“Helping seniors live healthy and active lives is a top priority for our government. With its focus on prevention and education, Canada’s first national dementia strategy will help improve the quality of life of seniors living with dementia and ensure that their family members and caregivers have access to the resources they need. Our government’s strengthened commitment to the New Horizons for Seniors Program also increases support for community-based projects that help seniors living with dementia as well as their families and caregivers,” said The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors.

The Strategy is a key milestone in Canada’s efforts to create a country where people living with dementia and caregivers are valued and supported, where they have an optimal quality of life, and where dementia can be prevented, effectively treated, and better understood.

“Dementia impacts the lives of our families, our friends, and our neighbours. This strategy is a critical step towards preventing dementia, strengthening available therapies, and improving the overall quality of life for our seniors. I am pleased that we have been able to host numerous roundtables with local stakeholders including the Niagara Centre Seniors Council to contribute important local recommendations to this strategy with the end goal of eradicating dementia while supporting caregivers in Niagara and across Canada,” said Vance Badawey, MP for Niagara Centre.

Quick Facts

  • On average, nine seniors are diagnosed with dementia every hour in Canada. After the age of 65, the risk of being diagnosed with dementia doubles every five years.
  • Canada’s national dementia strategy reflects the priorities set out in the National Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias Actwhich received Royal Assent in June 2017.
  • Budget 2019 proposed funding of $50 million over five years to support the implementation of the Strategy through actions in four areas: awareness, treatment guidelines, early diagnosis, and surveillance. This complements Budget 2018 funding, which provided $20 million over five years, starting in 2018-19, and $4 million per year ongoing, for the Dementia Community Investment. This fund supports community-based projects that enhance the well-being of people living with dementia and provide caregivers with access to the resources they need, including mental health supports.

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