Alzheimer Society of Canada calls for “Alzheimer's disease and dementia partnership”
On the eve of World Alzheimer's Day, the Alzheimer Society of Canada has called on the Federal Government to immediately establish a Canadian Alzheimer's disease and dementia partnership to lead and facilitate the development and implementation of a national strategy. The Society made its call to action in a speech delivered today by CEO Mimi Lowi-Young at the Economic Club of Canada.
"Dementia is a huge threat to our public health system and to our nation's productivity," says Lowi-Young. “By 2040, Canada will spend $293 billion a year on this disease alone. We have the best minds and the best of intentions, yet what is missing is a fully coordinated response to curb costs and meet the crushing needs of families and those living with this profoundly life-altering and ultimately, fatal disease."
An opportunity to become a world leader in dementia
The Society is asking the Federal Government to bring together a partnership of dementia experts, government officials, health-care providers, researchers and Canadians impacted by the disease. The partnership would establish and implement an integrated, comprehensive national strategic plan with a mandate to
- increase investment in research, foster collaboration and improve knowledge exchange and translation
- provide a surveillance system and evidence-based information on all aspects of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias to inform best practices
- enhance the competency and capacity of those delivering dementia care
- increase awareness about dementia risk factors, early diagnosis and timely interventions
- strengthen the integration and coordination of care and service delivery across the health-care continuum
- recognize family caregiver needs and develop supports that provide options and flexibility
Canadians believe we need a national dementia strategy
In a recent Nanos survey, 83% of Canadians reported they believe Canada needs a national dementia strategy.*
As our population ages, Canadians will be at an increased risk of developing dementia or caring for someone with it. “Everyone owns this disease,” says Lowi-Young. “The approach we’re proposing has worked for the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and The Mental Health Commission of Canada. It can work for dementia and ensure that we get the best return on investment and available resources. We’re asking the private, public and voluntary sectors to rise to the challenge.”
Canada has a real opportunity to position itself as a world leader in dementia. Ignoring the threat of this disease is not an option; addressing it is essential to every aspect of our society.
For more information
- Read Mimi Lowi-Young’s speech to the Economic Club of Canada
- Read Alzheimer Disease International’s (ADI) World Alzheimer Report 2013 to learn more about their recommendation that all countries should make dementia a priority by developing national dementia plans
- Canada must develop nation-wide dementia strategy: Editorial (Toronto Star, September 23, 2013)
*For more information see Nanos 2013 survey question.