Targeted Investments for Smarter Health and Long-Term Care
Dementia is a public health crisis. Urgent investments are needed to better support those affected today and prepare for the growing number that will be affected tomorrow.
Over 240,000 Ontarians live with dementia today, a number that will continue to rise as our population ages. With proper community supports, people with dementia are able to continue living at home—where they want to be. But these supports aren’t always available, and often have waitlists stretching past four, five, or even six months. This places unfair emotional, physical, and financial stress on caregivers, who burn out and reach a crisis point. When this happens, many have no place to turn other than a hospital or long-term care facility—an expensive option for our health-care system.
The Alzheimer Society has four recommendations to break this cycle, and help build a dementia care system that works:
Recommendation 1: Invest an additional $1.55 million in First Link® Care Navigation for a total investment of $4.76 million, supporting 5,000 more people living with dementia and caregivers.
Recommendation 2: Create a dedicated funding stream for dementia-specific respite services, including a targeted stream to improve access where demand for services surpasses availability.
Recommendation 3: Fully implement recommendation 21 of the Public Inquiry into the Safety and Security of Residents in the Long-Term Care Homes System.
Recommendation 4: Dedicate $4 million to providing the Alzheimer Society’s U-First!® training in long-term care facilities across the province.