Provincial premiers put spotlight on dementia
For the Council of the Federation, a working group of 13 provincial and territorial premiers committed to strengthening federal-provincial relations, dementia has become a permanent fixture in the Canadian political landscape.
In 2012, the Council appointed the Health Care Innovation Working Group (HCIWG) to address the needs of aging Canadians. A year later, they were asked to include Canadians with or caring for someone with dementia.
Co-chaired by the Premiers of Ontario, the Yukon and Alberta, the HCIWG is taking a hard look at provincial resources, best practices and cost savings to find ways of improving early diagnosis, treatment and care, while increasing awareness about the day-to-day realities of this disease.
That’s important because the number of Canadians with dementia is set to increase from 747,000 today, to 1.4 million by 2031, with annual economic costs soaring from $33 billion now, to $293 billion by 2040.
“HCIWG’s show of unity is a turning point in the history of dementia in this country ,” says Mimi Lowi-Young, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Canada. “Canadians have spoken; they want and need better dementia care now, especially in absence of a cure.”
"It comes down to a question of economics," adds Lowi-Young, “We have excellent resources provincially. We need to bring these together into one comprehensive, coordinated national dementia plan so Canadians wherever they live receive standardized care that is affordable and cost-effective.”
The Council will reconvene in Prince Edward Island in August. Stay tuned for more updates.