Alzheimer Society of Canada asks Council of the Federation: Make national dementia plan a priority

TORONTO, Aug. 25, 2014 /CNW/ - With the Council of Federation meeting August 26-30 in Charlottetown, the Alzheimer Society of Canada is calling on Canada's provincial and territorial premiers to make a national dementia plan a top priority.

During the 2013 Council of Federation meetings, all 13 premiers committed to address the urgent challenges of dementia and provide opportunities to improve early diagnosis and treatment. Premiers directed the Health Care Innovation Working Group to examine dementia-related issues, including identifying best practices for early diagnosis and raising awareness of the early signs and intervention.

"While we are encouraged by the provinces' commitment, we would like to see them go a step further by supporting a national dementia plan.  A comprehensive, coordinated plan will not only provide better quality of care and treatment for Canadians impacted by Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, it would also strengthen the sustainability of Canada's economy and health-care system," says Mimi Lowi-Young, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Canada.

The Alzheimer Society is proposing the creation of a Canadian Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Partnership which would develop such a plan.  Among other things, a national plan would accelerate research through investment, collaboration and innovation; standardize training and skills of health workers providing dementia care; ensure coordinated services throughout the dementia journey; enhance supports for family caregivers; and increase public awareness of the disease, its risk factors, early diagnosis and intervention.   

The Partnership would be supported by the Federal government with representation from provincial governments and other key stakeholders, including Canadians with lived experience. Support from Canada's premiers is essential in developing the Partnership.     

Dementia is one of the most complex chronic diseases facing Canada today. Alzheimer's disease and most forms of dementia remain incurable and without any effective means of treatment.

In less than 20 years, 1.4 million Canadians will be living with some form of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. Fuelling this growth will be an aging population as the risk of dementia doubles every five years after age 65. Annual costs related to dementia will also rise, from $33 billion today, to $293 billion by 2040. 

For more information about the Canadian Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Partnership or the Alzheimer Society of Canada, visit www.alzheimer.ca.

SOURCE: Alzheimer Society of Canada

For further information: Media contact: Rosanne Meandro, Director, Media Relations, Direct: 416-847-8920, Mobile: 416-669-5715, rmeandro@alzheimer.ca, www.alzheimer.ca

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