TORONTO, Feb. 11, 2014 /CNW/ - The Alzheimer Society of Canada applauds the Government of Canada for committing in Budget 2014 to advance research aimed at renewing investments in health research to tackle the growing onset of dementia and related illnesses, and to recognize and provide better support for family caregivers.
Today's budget will provide $15 million per year to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for the expansion of the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research, the creation of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging and other health research priorities.
This increased investment in the Canadian Institutes of Health Research will foster patient-focused research to address Alzheimer's disease and other dementia-related illnesses.
The funding is but one critical step to help Canada in the fight against dementia and to bring our country into a leadership position on knowledge, prevention and treatment of this debilitating disease.
"On behalf of the 747,000 Canadians living with dementia, we are grateful to the federal government for providing the resources needed to carry out important research to better understand how to tackle various forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease," said Lowi-Young.
The Alzheimer Society also applauds the announcement of the Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan to help maximize caregivers' labour market participation. This plan will provide relief to family caregivers who already spend millions of unpaid hours per year looking after a family member with dementia. By 2040, family caregivers will be devoting 1.4 billion hours per year, representing $11 billion in lost income and nearly 230,000 full-time jobs.
"These commitments will not only help improve the lives of Canadians affected by dementia but are also aligned with our call for a National Dementia Plan for Canada," says Lowi-Young.
The Alzheimer Society of Canada has been advocating for the creation of a Canadian Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Partnership. The partnership would assemble dementia experts, government officials, health-care providers, researchers and people who are personally impacted by the disease to facilitate and implement a national dementia plan.
Last December, health ministers from G8 countries, including Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose and Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne, participated in a Dementia Summit and committed to work to address the growing problem of dementia through increased research, innovation and partnerships. Coming out of the Summit, Canada and France are working together to co-host a global legacy event on dementia, which will take place in September 2014 in Ottawa.
In addition, the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Finance, which includes members of all political parties, recently recommended that the government "move expeditiously" on developing a national dementia plan.
"We are encouraged by these opportunities to make important advances in the area of dementia," said Lowi-Young, who was honoured to participate in the G8 Summit on Dementia. "We are looking forward to working with government on follow-up initiatives coming out of the G8 Summit and on our common goal of reducing the toll of dementia."
The number of Canadians living with dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, will increase to 1.4 million by 2031. Annual costs to Canada's economy will rise dramatically from $33 billion today, to $293 billion by 2040.
About the Alzheimer Society of Canada
The Alzheimer Society is the leading nationwide health charity for people living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Active in communities right across Canada, the Society offers help for today through our programs and services, and hope for tomorrow by funding research into the cause, prevention and a cure.
To learn more about the Alzheimer Society and the Canadian Alzheimer's disease and dementia partnership, visit www.alzheimer.ca
SOURCE: Alzheimer Society of Canada
For further information:
Director, Media Relations