Canadians want a National Dementia Strategy
The Atlantic Provinces has been swept up by a Liberal red tide. On October 19th, Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast made it clear: they wanted meaningful change. According to a recent Nanos survey, 83% of Canadians reported they believe Canada needs a national dementia plan. Now is the chance for Canadians across the country to ask their government to address the dementia epidemic our country faces. Currently,747,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias; and the combined direct and indirect costs of dementia total $33 billion per year.
The Alzheimer Society of PEI would like to extend sincere congratulations to Justin Trudeau, Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister. However, we urge Mr. Trudeau not to forget about the millions of Canadians that have been affected, directly or indirectly, by dementia. Embedded within the Liberal platform are the seeds for a national dementia strategy. Initiatives such as $3 billion over the next four years to deliver more and better home care services deserve recognition for the relief it will bring to many Canadians. Similarly, the Liberal’s commitment to ensuring the Compassionate Care Benefit is more flexible and easier to access for seriously ill family members, not just those at risk of death, will help countless Canadians. Finally, when nearly 1,000,000 seniors are living on fixed incomes, the Liberal’s promise to work with the provinces to buy medications in bulk to improve access and reduce costs should be applauded. However, these policies are not enough to alleviate the burden dementia will place on our healthcare system, but more importantly its impact on Canadians. Mr. Trudeau, more must and can be done.
Mr. Trudeau, your commitment to a new Health Accord is the perfect opportunity to implement what Canadians want: a national dementia strategy. The Alzheimer Society recommends a Canadian Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Partnership be created as a government funded arms-length entity that would facilitate the development and implementation of a fully comprehensive national dementia strategy. This Partnership would bring together dementia experts, governments, researchers, health-care providers, industry, consumer groups as well as people living with dementia and their families to lead, coordinate and facilitate the development and implementation of an integrated, comprehensive national dementia strategy in Canada. Such a partnership would also have the added benefit of producing national guidelines, which would eliminate gaps in how dementia is dealt with across Canada.
Canadians want change Mr. Trudeau, let’s begin by helping the 747,000 Canadians living with dementia and their caregivers by developing a national dementia strategy.
Last Updated: 02/13/2018