October 8th, 2010
The Federal Liberals’ National Caregiver Strategy is timely – as the population ages, politicians can no longer afford to ignore these issues or sweep them under the carpet. In the late September the Globe and Mail produced a series exploring the various aspects of dementia. Shining a light on the issue makes it all the more obvious that we now need to develop a National Dementia Strategy: it affects 20 per cent of seniors by the age of 80, and well over 40 per cent by 90 – 500,000 Canadians, and one new person joins them every five minutes. One generation from now, the total will be 1.1 million. Today’s dementia related costs top $15-billion annually and the Alzheimer Society predicts that in three decades they will about $153 billion dollars a year (in future dollars). Canada already has a cancer, hearth disease and mental heart strategy, why not a dementia strategy? These statistics come from Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society, an extensively researched report published by the Alzheimer Society of Canada last year. To read more about the report, click here.
The report makes five recommendations that would make up the components of a comprehensive National Dementia Strategy. They include:
1. An accelerated investment in all areas of dementia research.
2. A clear recognition of the important role played by informal caregivers.
3. An increased recognition of the importance of prevention and early intervention.
4. Greater integration of care and increased use of chronic disease prevention and management.
5. A strengthening of Canada’s dementia workforce.
The Globe and Mail series is extensive and interesting. To go to the Globe and Mail dementia series page, click here
Keywords: mental impairment, costs