Ontario action plan for dementia
Hearing a doctor tell you that you have dementia is frightening. Seeing someone you love struggle to speak, lose the ability to get dressed or eat, and eventually be unable to recognize even a beloved child is frustrating and painful. Being forced to leave your job to care for someone with dementia has a devastating impact on the entire family, as well as the Ontario economy.
As Ontario's population ages, hope lies in finding ways to lessen dementia's crippling effect on families, the health care system and the economy. Educating people about the value of a healthy lifestyle in preventing or delaying dementia is critical. Much work needs to be done on the health care and community support systems through which people will receive care and help. The influx of financial, legal and policy issues that dementia poses must be addressed.
Investing now in better prevention, better care and better support will pay off later. Dementia planning isn't just good social policy. It makes economic sense. The time to act is now.
A report released in March 2010 from the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, 10 by 20: Ontario action plan for dementia, describes the growing economic and social burden of dementia. Demand for more services and more support will strain our already stretched healthcare resources.
It also suggests 10 action steps for the next decade to help decrease the number of people developing dementia and provide a better system of care to reduce the economic and social burden of dementia.
You can help! Join us and speak up for the needs and rights of people living with dementia.
In November 2009, the Alzheimer Society asked Ontarians with dementia, their caregivers and professional service providers about dementia services in Ontario. Here's what they said:
- 93% believe that the range of care and support services in Ontario needs to be improved.
- They rank early diagnosis as the greatest benefit to people with dementia and caregivers.
- 62% name direct payments and tax credits as the most effective way to ease the financial burden of caregiving.
75% rank access to specialists and collaboration between healthcare practitioners as having the greatest impact on people with dementia.