Calling on all federal parties: Canada needs a fully-funded national dementia strategy
Alzheimer Society campaign encourages Canadians to speak out
TORONTO, Sept. 9, 2019 /CNW/ - The Alzheimer Society is urging Canadians to get involved in the federal election by writing their candidates and asking them to commit to supporting a fully-funded national dementia strategy.
This past June, the Government of Canada released the country's first-ever national dementia strategy to address the overwhelming scale, impact and cost of dementia in Canada. The 2019 federal budget included a commitment of $50 million over five years to support the strategy's implementation.
"Canada's national dementia strategy is an important first step toward making life better for the more than half a million Canadians living with dementia today," says Pauline Tardif, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Canada. "But like any strategy, it must be fully-funded to make a difference. The federal government's initial investment is a good start, but much more is needed in order to bring the strategy to fruition."
No matter which party forms government this fall, dementia must remain a top priority. Each year, dementia costs the economy and health care system more than $10.4 billion. As our population ages, we simply cannot afford to ignore dementia.
"In less than 12 years, the number of Canadians living with dementia—and the cost to care for them—will nearly double," says Tardif. "Family members, hospitals and long-term care homes are already stretched beyond their limits. We need to start implementing the national dementia strategy right now to ensure that the growing number of Canadians affected by dementia receive the care and support they deserve."
As part of the campaign, the Society has provided an online letter-writing tool along with other resources for Canadians to speak out and let their candidates know that they will be voting with dementia as a priority this October. Visitors to the website can also read stories from researchers and people with lived experience on how the national dementia strategy will make a difference.
To learn more and get involved, visit alzheimer.ca/Election2019.
About the Alzheimer Society
The Alzheimer Society is Canada's leading nationwide health charity for people living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Active in communities across Canada, the Society provides information, programs and services, and raises funds for research to better understand the causes of dementia, improve treatment and care, and to find a cure.
- Today, over half a million Canadians are living with dementia.
- In less than 12 years, this number will nearly double to almost a million.
- Women over the age of 65 account for 65 per cent of all Canadians living with dementia.
- For every person with dementia, there are one or more family members who provide care.
- Canadians spend over $10.4 billion each year in direct and indirect costs to care for those with dementia. This number is expected to jump to $16.6 billion in less than 12 years.
- In 2011 alone, caregivers devoted 19.2 million hours of unpaid care, representing a value of $1.2 billion.
SOURCE Alzheimer Society of Canada