Alzheimer Society of Canada collaborates with government to take global action against dementia
On September 11 and 12, 200 international experts from research and industry sectors, health charities, government leaders, and people living with dementia and their caregivers, met in Ottawa for the Canada-France G7 Legacy Event, the second of four events resulting from the successful G8 Dementia Summit held last December in London, England.
|Mimi Lowi-Young speaks at the
Canada-France Legacy event
The event, “Harnessing the power of discoveries: Maximizing academia-industry synergies,” focused on finding the best ways for academia and industry to work more closely together to find practical and creative solutions to better support those living with dementia and their families.
Mimi Lowi-Young, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Canada, delivered opening remarks at the event and participated in a panel highlighting innovative technology for people living with dementia. Faye Forbes, who was diagnosed with Alzhiemer’s disease at 58, and Matt Dineen, whose wife has Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), represented the community and spoke at the event.
Announcement of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging
At the G8 Dementia Summit in December 2013, key commitments included finding a cure or disease-modifying treatment for dementia by 2025, and calling for greater innovation to improve the quality of life for individuals living with dementia, and their caregivers. Canada plays a key role in achieving these goals as a well-known leader in dementia research. On September 10, Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose announced the launch of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), a national initiative that will bring together 20 research teams to further investigate:
- delaying the onset of dementia and related illnesses
- preventing these illnesses from occurring
- improving the quality of life of Canadians living with these illnesses and their caregivers.
“The Alzheimer Society is excited to be a leading non-governmental partner of the CCNA,” stated Mimi Lowi-Young, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Canada. “This first-of-its-kind initiative is an extraordinary opportunity to bring together Canada’s brightest minds in neurodegenerative research and will lead to better care, prevention and treatment for Canadians living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The CCNA will help foster innovation in research and holds great potential for finding the cause and cure for neurodegenerative diseases.”
The Alzheimer Society will contribute $4.05M over the next five years to these efforts and is proud to have supported many of the researchers leading key projects within the CCNA through the Alzheimer Society Research Program.
Dementia Friends in Canada
Rona Ambrose also announced that the Government of Canada will work with the Alzheimer Society of Canada to bring “Dementia Friends” to Canada in 2015. The program, originally launched in Japan as "Dementia Supporters" and more recently as "Dementia Friends" in the UK, has been hugely successful in making day to day life better for thousands of people with dementia.
The program trains volunteers to understand what it means to live with dementia, and turns this understanding into actions that support people with this disease to remain in their homes longer and to live more independently in their communities.
“Individuals as well as caregivers often feel isolated and devalued. Dementia Friends will help raise awareness, reduce stigma and more importantly, provide the gift of friendship,” commented Mimi Lowi-Young on the program. “By becoming a dementia friend, whether it's a neighbour, business owner or cab driver, we can all make a huge difference in the quality of life of people with dementia and interact with them in a more meaningful way."
The Alzheimer Society is excited to partner with government to launch this innovative program. To help us reach this goal, we encourage the business community and local community organizations to get involved. We can make a difference in the lives of those living with dementia by working together.
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