Government of Canada releases a national dementia strategy

On June 17th,  Canada’s Health minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor announced the release of A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire.

As stated in Public Health Agency of Canada’s news release, this first national dementia strategy focuses on preventing dementia, advancing therapies, finding a cure, and improving the quality of life of people living with dementia and caregivers.

“What we heard from stakeholders across the country, including those living with dementia and caregivers, had a direct impact on the development of Canada’s first national dementia strategy,” Minister Petitpas Taylor says. “By working together with all orders of government and different sectors to implement this Strategy, we can advance prevention and treatment efforts, and improve the quality of life for those living with dementia as well as their families and caregivers.”

The strategy was informed by evidence and advice obtained from consultations across the country, including valuable input received during the National Dementia Conference, as well as advice from the Ministerial Advisory Board on Dementia.

Daniel Fontaine, Chair of the Canadian Association for Long Term Care (CALTC) and CEO of BC Care Providers Association was appointed to the federal Ministerial Advisory Board on Dementia in May 2018.

“I am honoured to have worked alongside the other members of the federal Ministerial Advisory Board on Dementia led by Minister Petitpas Taylor. I feel hopeful that the contributions of the advisory board will contribute to improving the lives of Canadians living with dementia and their families, along with helping to further dementia research and treatments,” Fontaine says.

The Budget 2019 proposed $50 million in funding to help advance the strategy. This complements Budget 2018 funding, which provided $20 million over five years, starting in 2018-19, and $4 million per year ongoing, for the Dementia Community Investment. This fund supports community-based projects that enhance the well-being of people living with dementia and provide caregivers with access to the resources they need, including mental health supports.

Through the release, the Minister of Health also announced funding for Phase II of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), a national platform for collaborative research in dementia, led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

“I look forward to continuing to advocate for the implementation of this strategy through my role as Chair of the Canadian Association for Long Term Care (CALTC) and CEO of BC Care Providers Association,” Fontaine adds.