Government of Canada announces Canada’s first national dementia strategy
We are thrilled to announce that history was made today, June 17, as the federal government officially announced Canada’s first national dementia strategy: A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire.
The strategy not only aligns Canada with 32 other countries who have made dementia a national priority, but it also responds to the call for action set out in the World Health Organization’s Global action plan on dementia.
In June 2018, the National Dementia Conference took place in Ottawa. Policy makers, people living with dementia, caregivers and other stakeholders were consulted about issues important to them as part of the development of the National Dementia Strategy. Participants included Myrna Norman, Mario Gregorio and Jim Mann from the Society’s Leadership Group of People Living with Dementia and Paul Blanchet from the Society’s Leadership Group of Caregivers as well as Alzheimer Society of B.C. CEO Maria Howard.
This is a significant milestone for Canadians living with dementia, their caregivers and their families. For the first time, we have a national plan with a concerted and targeted approach to increase awareness, ensure timely diagnosis and intervention and enhance care and community supports.
The strategy sets out three national objectives:
- Preventing dementia;
- Advancing therapies and finding a cure; and
- Improving the quality of life of people living with dementia and caregivers.
This is encouraging news for the more than half a million Canadians living with dementia today – and the thousands more who will develop the disease in the years to come. For the first time, we have a strong foundation for a coordinated and targeted national approach to improve dementia care and support and advance research. The implementation plan will outline concrete activities to support within a specified time-frame and it will be developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada in the coming months.
We recognize there is much work ahead to ensure the strategy brings immediate and lasting change for Canadians affected by dementia. We look forward to championing for complete funding and the speedy implementation of this strategy so that every Canadian affected by dementia can live as fully as possible for as long as possible with dignity, inclusion and respect.