“When you’ve met one person with dementia, you’ve met one person with dementia,” wrote researcher Tom Kitwood decades ago. Now, more and more people in the dementia field understand the incredible diversity that exists in this condition.
The Alzheimer Society of Canada's new report, The Many Faces of Dementia in Canada, takes a look at how dementia demographics could change in Canada over the next 30 years.
The report also offers insight as to how dementia experiences can vary across Indigeniety, ethnicity, sex, gender, age and other dimensions.
What’s more, dementia may be viewed differently in different communities and subcultures. And social determinants of health also change dementia risks and care access for different groups of people.
On February 14, 2024, we gathered online to hear more about this report and its findings.
Speakers at this talk included:
- Joshua J. Armstrong, Research Scientist at the Alzheimer Society of Canada and author of the report The Many Faces of Dementia in Canada
- Natasha Jacobs, Advisory Group and Referral Service Manager at the Alzheimer Society of Canada, who helped bring many of the personal stories shared in the report to publication
The conversation was moderated by Luca Pisterzi, Vice President, Research at the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
Both of the speakers presented about key aspects of the new report, followed by a chat and public Q&A.
This talk is part of Dementia Talks! Canada, a monthly event series produced in partnership by Alzheimer Society of Canada and Brain Canada, two of the nation’s leading brain-health organizations. For more information about past editions of this series, visit alzheimer.ca/talks. Questions about this talks series? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read highlights and stories from the new report, and download the full study, visit alzheimer.ca/ManyFaces.
Links shared in the talk chat
- Find our more about the report The Many Faces of Dementia in Canada at alzheimer.ca/manyfaces
- The Native Women’s Association of Canada webpage on Aging and Dementia nwac.ca/policy/aging-and-dementia
- Anishinaabek Dementia Care’s website anishinaabekdementiacare.ca
- Indigenous Cognition and Aging Awareness Research Exchange website i-caare.ca
- National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health website nccih.ca
- To read the first Landmark Study report from 2022, visit alzheimer.ca/landmarkstudy
- To read the second Landmark Study report from 2024, visit alzheimer.ca/manyfaces
- To read Andrea's story in the new report: alzheimer.ca/en/faces-of-dementia-andreas-story
- To read Arlene's story in the new report: alzheimer.ca/en/faces-of-dementia-arlenes-story
- To read Curt and Heather's story from the new report: alzheimer.ca/en/faces-of-dementia-heather-curts-story
- Alzheimer Society federation offers resources in Chinese and Punjabi at alzheimer.ca/chinese and alzheimer.ca/punjabi
- There are also some some helpful dementia resources for First Nations, Inuit and Metis people posted at alzheimer.ca/indigenous
- The Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging has been co-designing dementia resources with the Chinese, South Asian and Italian communities. Please check out forwardwithdementia.ca to access these resources
- For more information about joining the Advisory Group that Natasha leads, please visit alzheimer.ca/en/take-action/change-minds/advisory-group/join-our-advisory-group
- More multilingual resources are here as well: alzheimer.ca/en/help-support/dementia-resources/more-languages/multiple-lang
- The Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging is currently co-designing a new resource: A Guidebook for Inclusive Research with People Living with Dementia who are from Ethno-racial Communities. It will be available in the coming months, so if you are interested in hearing more about this resource, please sign up for the RIA's newsletter: the-ria.ca/subscribe-to-our-newsletter/
- There is some really helpful research and advocacy on gender and brain injury here: www.pinkconcussions.com/
- Here is some information about mixed dementia alzheimer.ca/en/about-dementia/other-types-dementia/mixed-dementia & www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia/types-of-dementia/mixed-dementia
More information about the speakers and moderator
Joshua J. Armstrong, PhD
Josh is Research Scientist at the Alzheimer Society of Canada and currently lives with his family in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
With a multidisciplinary academic background, Josh brings research expertise in the health sciences, data analytics, gerontology and public health to the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
Josh completed his PhD in Aging, Health and Well-being at the University of Waterloo in the School of Public Health and Health Systems in 2013 under the supervision of Paul Stolee. After receiving his doctorate, he went on to complete an Alzheimer Society Research Program postdoctoral fellowship with Kenneth Rockwood and Arnold Mitnitski at Dalhousie University.
His postdoctoral research work used advanced analytic approaches in data from large population-based cohort studies to examine the relationship between frailty and cognitive decline in older adults. Prior to joining the Alzheimer Society, Josh was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Lakehead University.
Natasha’s grandfather was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 62, and she was an essential advocate for her family during that stage of his life. Natasha has since gone on to spend more than 20 years working with those who live with a form of dementia, as well as their care partners.
After her studies in gerontology, Natasha became a transition worker and family counsellor in Ottawa, working with over 70 families, providing counselling and advocacy from diagnosis through to admission in long-term care and beyond.
Natasha lives in Cobourg, Ontario, with her husband Jermaine and their children Jordyn and Isaiah. As Advisory Group and Referral Service Manager at the Alzheimer Society of Canada, she coordinates and works alongside the Steering Committee as well as the Advisory Group.
Luca Pisterzi, PhD
Luca Pisterzi has an interest in leveraging the health system to accelerate research toward cures. He is passionate about collaborative approaches toward developing treatments for chronic and incurable diseases. Working with multiple hospitals across Toronto, he has been able to introduce standardized high-quality clinical assessments in dementia, improved access to data, and reduced administrative barriers.
He joins the Alzheimer Society of Canada as Vice President of Research, and he was previously Director of Strategy & Operations for the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance. In 2023, Luca completed a Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and the Life Sciences at the Rotman School of Management. He has a PhD in biophysics and nine years of experience with provincial and national multi-site clinical research initiatives focused on cancer and brain disorders.
Luca looks forward to working with the life sciences sector to build and optimize research strategies that most benefit patients.