With Bill C-233, Canada joins the global fight against dementia.
Last summer, Canada became the 30th nation to officially commit to creating a national dementia strategy. Bill C-233, An Act respecting a national strategy for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, received Royal assent on June 22, 2017, and ensures that the Government of Canada will develop and implement a strategy that focuses on enhanced research, prevention and care to tackle the impact of the growing dementia crisis.
Rob Nicholson, MP Niagara Falls, sponsored the bill and says the strategy that will eventually be produced as a result of C-233 will set national standards of care for managing and living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, while assisting the provinces and territories in developing diagnostic guidelines, disseminating information and sharing best practices. “The goal is that cooperation will lead to positive health outcomes for families across the country,” Nicholson says.
The strategy will also align with the goals and objectives of the Alzheimer Society of Canada, Nicholson says, and the Society itself will work closely with the government, stakeholders and people with dementia to create and implement the plan.
Nicholson hopes the stress so many Canadian families face in dealing with dementia, a struggle he knows personally, will be lessened by C-233.
“My own father, whom I cherished deeply, passed away from complications due to Alzheimer’s in 1997. Witnessing his decline in health was extremely difficult for my entire family,” he says. “When I read how this disease was expected to increase exponentially, I wanted to put together a bill that would help other families with loved ones struggling with Alzheimer’s disease and dementias.”