Landmark Study Community Conversation


Dr. Joshua Armstrong, a research scientist from the Alzheimer Society of Canada and co-author of the Landmark Study, and Joanne Bracken, former CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan, discuss the findings from the Landmark Studies and how they will influence the work of the Alzheimer Society.

“I think one of the most important things we need to remember is that people live with people living with dementia living in communities. I think there's this perception that when you get dementia you right away move to long-term care, and over 60% of people with dementia live in our communities. They're your neighbors, they're your friends. I mean they're the people that you meet each and every day within the community.”

  • Joanne Bracken

Note: This page only briefly summarized the discussion by Dr. Armstrong and Joanne Bracken. For the full information discussed from the reports, we encourage you to watch the recording and take a look at the reports.

You can read the reports here 

Dr. Armstrong began the discussion by giving an overview of how the Landmark Study reports were constructed through building a simulation of the Canadian population. The purpose of these reports is to gain a better understanding of what dementia will look like and how the population might change over a 30-year time period, from 2020 to 2050.

The Alzheimer Society of Canada's Landmark Study uses data modeling to forecast the nation's dementia future. The study data is being analyzed in three reports. The first report, “Navigating the Path Forward for Dementia in Canada” from 2022, looked at overall dementia numbers. The second report, “The Many Faces of Dementia”, released in 2024, looks at dementia across demographic groups. The third report, in 2025, will look at the economic impacts of dementia.

“The report looks at the projections of what to expect in terms of dementia numbers in Canada and across all the provinces for the next 30 years. We're seeing an increase [in cases] from around 600,000 in 2020, up to 1.7 million in 2050.”

  • Dr. Joshua Armstrong

The Landmark Studies break down the impact that caring for an individual with dementia has on the well-being of people caring for someone with dementia, the amount of work it takes, and the impact on the economy. To provide more context, on average, care partners in Canada provide approximately 26 hours per week of care to a person living with dementia. That’s 470 million hours of care per year- of unpaid work. With the majority of that being done by women. This figure is the equivalent of 235,000 full-time unpaid jobs – translating these hours into dollar figures, the care provided by family and friends is greater than $7.3 billion annually.

These reports cover information on reducing the risks of dementia and how we can reduce our own risk and the risk across the population and explain the numbers and statistics related to this. The information provided in these reports dives into these risk factors deeper, looking deeper into how demographics and social determinants of health impact our overall health outcomes.

It is important to remember though, no matter what your age, you can make lifestyle changes to improve your brain health.

*Social determinants of health are the non-medical, social, and economic factors that influence the risk of dementia across the population. These factors occur within the living and working conditions that people experience every day. Depending on where one falls within these factors, the influence on dementia risk can either be negative or positive. These include things such as income, employment and working conditions, early childhood development, access to health services, and culture- just to name a few.

“I think we need to really think about changing what we're doing so that we can change those numbers because, in a lot of ways we're behind some of the other provinces, we're on the wrong end of some of the data across Canada. So, brain health is important to think about.”

  • Joanne Bracken

“The Many Faces of Dementia” focuses on the people who might be experiencing dementia in Canada, highlighting the impact on Indigenous populations and multiple different ethnicities, how sex and gender impact dementia risk, and the increase of young onset dementia.

Joanne Bracken explained how, due to global immigration patterns, the number of people in Saskatchewan living with dementia of Asian origin is expected to increase by 2500%. Projections show there will also be a 237% increase across Indigenous populations, and a 260% increase in people of African descent – compared to 94% in the general population. Dr. Amrstrong noted the need for Alzheimer Societies to tailor their programming and services in order to meet the needs of these changing demographics.

Dr. Armstrong further highlighted the growth of dementia due to Canada having an aging population as a growing number of people over the age of 75 is going to have an impact on the number of people living with dementia.

“Right now, baby boomers are getting up in their late 70s and within the next 20 years they they'll all be over the age of 80 and then that that's going to have an impact on dementia rates.”

  • Dr. Joshua Armstrong

Both reports also provide recommendations on what health care systems, different levels of governments, researchers, and individuals can each do to improve these increasing numbers of dementia cases.

“There are a lot of recommendations because this is a complex issue. More research needs to be done, and there needs to better data collection on people living with dementia in Canada.”

  • Dr. Joshua Armstrong

In the video, Joanne highlighted the state of dementia care in Saskatchewan and how the average person in Saskatchewan can be waiting up to 18 months to get a diagnosis, and even longer for someone who is experiencing young onset dementia. She recommends that as dementia grows for younger populations, we need to tailor our services to better support this demographic.

Through the actions we can take to reduce the risk of dementia, we can also delay the onset.

If we delay the onset, it will help people stay in their homes longer and reduce the number of people who need access to long-term care facilities. Joanne notes the positive impact that countries who have had dementia strategies for 30 years are seeing a decline in the number of people with dementia. This can demonstrate the importance of having a dementia strategy and funding that strategy so some of the changes in it can actually be implemented.

You can read the reports here 

Note: This page only briefly summarized the discussion by Dr. Armstrong and Joanne Bracken, as the content was very dense. For the full information discussed from the reports, we encourage you to watch the recording and take a look at the reports. We would be happy to send you a physical copy of the recently released “The Many Faces of Dementia” Please contact [email protected] to request your copy.

To learn more about the future of dementia in Canada and to request your copy of the report, contact us at [email protected]

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