In February 2018, Dementia Network Calgary hosted a political forum on dementia with four provincial party representatives.
Moderated by Lori Williams, associate professor, policy studies at Mount Royal University, the forum featured the UCP’s Tany Yao, the Liberal Party’s David Khan, the Alberta Party’s Greg Clark and the NDP’s Joe Ceci. Besides members of the panel, an additional five representatives from a variety of political parties attended the event.
Currently, more than 42,000 Albertans are living with dementia, and that number is expected to increase to 155,000 in the next 30 years. The panel addressed questions regarding the growing rates of dementia, including issues around long-term care, patient navigators, patient advocacy and models of care, caregiver pay and education. Despite the often-divisive state of Alberta’s current political landscape, all members of the panel agreed that the question of dementia is a non-partisan issue and needs to be addressed in a meaningful way.
The forum was live-streamed on Dementia Network Calgary’s Facebook page. [ ]
Visit Facebook.com/DementiaCalgary to watch the recording of the event.
COMMENTS FROM THE PANEL
On improving care
“We need a more ambitious dementia strategy. We need to look at the overall continuity of care and respite care. [We] need to improve home care, using a relational model of care, ensuring that the same caregiver comes more often than not, rather than somebody new every day.” –Greg Clark, MLA Calgary-Elbow, Alberta Party
On system navigation
“Navigators can help greatly because of the personal connection that a person can have with the individual and the family to help them get through to understand the complex system that’s in place, get better results, and bring up what they need.” –Joe Ceci, finance minister, NDP
On increased funding for home care
“[We’re] in favour of more funding for home care and respite care, so they don’t have to go to expensive assisted-living facilities where they’re going to feel alone and their condition will worsen because they’re not around family members.” –David Khan, leader, Alberta Liberal Party
On education for caregivers
“Investment in education for caregivers is an absolute must… we need to ensure they have the abilities and education to care for people.” –Tany Yao, MLA Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo, UCP