G8 dementia summit update: countries to work together to address rising dementia crisis

The Alzheimer Society of Canada applauds the leadership of the Canadian government and participating countries at the G8 Dementia Summit, led by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who today committed to work together to address the growing problem of dementia through increased research, innovation and partnerships.

“We were pleased to have been invited on behalf of Canadians affected by dementia and work alongside the Government of Canada at the G8 Summit,” Mimi-Lowi-Young, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Canada, said Wednesday as the event drew to a close. “This summit provided a historic opportunity to transform dementia research. It will take a concerted and sustained action from world leaders to tackle one of the world’s largest and most expensive public health issues.”

Health Ministers from G8 countries, including Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose and Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne, gathered in London to discuss how they can better coordinate efforts and formulate an international approach to deal with dementia.

After their day-long discussions, the G8 Ministers released a Declaration, outlining 12 commitments aimed at addressing the significant human and economic toll of dementia-related illnesses.

“This summit represented a new level of international collaboration and commitment when it comes to addressing the health and economic challenges of dementia,” said Minister Ambrose. “I look forward to working with our G8 partners and stakeholders like the Alzheimer Society of Canada to build upon the G8 legacy event Canada will host with France in Ottawa next year. This will enable Canada to continue to take a leadership role and meet our shared commitment of finding a cure by 2025. It will also ensure that our discussions result in better care to help those living with dementia and their families and caregivers.”

Currently, 747,000 Canadians are living with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, with this number reaching 1.4 million by 2031. Annual costs to Canada’s economy will increase from $33 billion today, to $293 billion by 2040.

To address the growing dementia crisis, the Alzheimer Society of Canada continues to advocate for a Canadian Alzheimer's disease and dementia partnership, with a mandate to assemble dementia experts, government officials, health-care providers, researchers and people who are personally impacted by the disease to facilitate and implement a national dementia plan.

“We are encouraged by the international approach to dementia demonstrated by the G8 Summit and we will continue to support and work with the Canadian government on next steps here at home,” said Lowi-Young.

Read the G8 dementia summit declaration
Learn more about the importance of a plan and our recommendations
Check out ADI’s infographic for the G8 Summit
Read the report, “The Global Impact of Dementia 2013 – 2050

Last Updated: 11/08/2017