The Canadian government has just released the first-ever strategy to combat an issue many people struggle and could struggle with.
More than 419,000 Canadians aged 65 years and older are diagnosed with dementia. Two-thirds of those diagnosed are women, and as the population ages, the number of Canadians affected by dementia is expected to increase.
“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,” says Minister of Seniors Filomena Tassi.
Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor announced the release of A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire, which is the first national dementia strategy that 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.
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“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,” says Minister Taylor.
The government is providing $50 million to help advance the strategy, which was laid out in the budget.
The budget proposed funding of $50 million over the next five years to support the implementation of the strategy through awareness, treatment guidelines, early diagnosis, and surveillance. In the 2018 budget, the government 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 support.
The government, researchers, health professionals, people living with dementia, and caregivers have collaborated in the project.
Minister Taylor also announced funding for Phase II of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), which is a national platform for collaborative research in dementia, led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). CIHR and its partners are providing $46 million over the next five years to research dementia prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care.
What do you think of this new strategy?