Canada's National Dementia Strategy is Bold and Balanced

Persons with dementia were active participants in its creation

iStock/tampatra

iStock/tampatra

People living with dementia were included as equals in the creation of Canada’s first national dementia strategy: A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire, released on June 17, 2019. 

This is a bold and balanced dementia strategy with human rights as a core principle.
— Mary Beth Wighton

The strategy was informed by extensive consultations with individuals with lived experience and guided by the Ministerial Advisory Board on Dementia, whose members include two individuals living with dementia: Jim Mann, a retired executive entrepreneur and advocate from B.C., and Mary Beth Wighton, chair and co-founder of the Ontario Dementia Advisory Group from Ontario. Wighton is also co-chair of Dementia Advocacy Canada. 

“This is a bold and balanced dementia strategy with human rights as a core principle,” says Wighton, noting the government’s commitment to follow through on promises to allocate at least one per cent of dementia care costs (currently over $8 billion) to research funding.

The new dementia strategy emphasizes reducing stigma, prevention, access to timely diagnosis, rehabilitation, effective care coordination and the importance of a skilled workforce. It acknowledges care-partner challenges, including burn-out and financial hardship as well as low wages, lack of training and limited resources for personal support workers.  

More than half a million Canadians are currently living with dementia and there are approximately 70 new cases of dementia in Canada every day. 

Implementation of the strategy is key.

Learn more about the strategy at Canada.ca.


National Dementia Strategy at a Glance

 

Principles: 

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National Objectives:

Prevent dementia, including through advancing research, building the evidence base, expanding awareness of modifiable risks and supporting the adoption of healthy living behaviours. 

Advance therapies and find a cure, including through increasing dementia research, developing innovative and effective therapeutic approaches and engaging people living with dementia and their care partners in therapy development.

Improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and their caregivers, including by eliminating stigma, promoting early diagnosis, addressing access to care, supporting care partners and building the capacity of caregivers. [ ]