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The Government of Canada unveils its first national dementia strategy

July 8th, 2019

Canada now has an official strategy for dementia – its prevention, treatment, and services for those living with dementia and their caregivers. The strategy is the result of years of investigation, research and collaboration, and is driven in part by the anticipated spike as baby boomers join the numbers of people in Canada living with dementia.

Sobering projections

More than 564,000 Canadians are currently living with dementia (including Alzheimer’s Disease), and that number is projected to reach 937,000 by 2031. By 2031, the annual healthcare costs and out-of-pocket caregiver costs related to dementia are expected to reach $16.6-billion. The budgeted amount for moving the new national dementia strategy forward is $50-million over five years.

Hopeful tone

With a backdrop of those sobering numbers, the Dementia Strategy for Canada embraces a rather hopeful tone with the report’s subtitle, Together We Aspire; and the commitment that “The actions undertaken to achieve the strategy's national objectives may evolve over time, but every action will bring Canada closer to the vision of a Canada in which all people living with dementia and caregivers are valued and supported, quality of life is optimized, and dementia is prevented, well understood, and effectively treated.”

Measurable encouragement

This document is worth reading if you’re looking for measurable encouragement on the dementia front. For each area of focus – for example, access to current research and resources – the strategy has a matching ‘Aspiration’, highlighting a national goal to improve the current status. One of the aspirations is that “Annual investment in dementia research in Canada exceeds 1% of dementia care costs.”

Link to the document: A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire

Photo: Dementia Strategey for Canada Snapshot; Public Health Agency of Canada (used with permission)

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