Our Federal Dementia Strategy: Update

A few weeks ago  there was an announcement  that the Federal health minister earmarked $50 million over 5 years to support our new dementia strategy.  You may recall that the National Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias Act was passed in June 2017, which at that time, was a great birthday present for our 150th birthday.

Following several consultations, 5 principles were established to guide the process.

  1. Prioritize quality of life for people living with dementia and caregivers;
  2. Respect and value diversity to ensure an inclusive approach, with a focus on those most at risk or with distinct needs;
  3. Respect the human rights of people living with dementia to support their autonomy and dignity;
  4. Engage in evidence-informed decision making, taking a broad approach to gathering and sharing best available knowledge and data; and
  5. Maintain a results-focused approach to tracking progress, including evaluating and adjusting actions as needed.

From these principals 3 national objectives were identified including:

  1. Prevent dementia
  2. Advance therapies and find a cure
  3. Improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and caregivers.

And then, 5 underlying pillars were identified that would achieve these objectives, including:

  1. Collaboration
  2. Research and innovation
  3. Surveillance and data
  4. Information resources
  5. Skilled workforce

(excerpt from Executive Summary, A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire)

Our latest statistics include:

  • More than 419,000 Cdn ages 65 plus living with diagnosed dementia
  • 78,600 new cases diagnosed annually
  • 63% of those 65 plus living with dementia are women
  • 9 seniors are diagnosed every hour in Canada
  • 26 hours is the average time spent per week that friends/family provide support for someone diagnosed with dementia
  • 3 billion total health care costs and out of pocket caregiver costs in 2011
  • 6 billion is the projected total health care costs and out of pocket costs of dementia in Canada by 2031

For more detailed, please visit the Ministry website.

The groundwork has now been laid and this is a great next step as we all work together to r improve the lives of Canadians diagnosed with dementia and those living, working and caring for someone who has dementia.


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