Canadians with the disease are set to increase from 747,000 today to 1.4 million by 2031, states a release.
Because of this, a working group of premiers has been formed to take a hard look at the disease.
In 2012, the Health Care Innovation Working Group (HCIWG) was formed, which consists of 13 provincial and territorial premiers, to address the needs of aging Canadians. A year later, in 2013, they were asked to include Canadians with or caring for someone with dementia.
Co-chaired by the premiers of Ontario, Alberta, and the Yukon the HCIWG is examining provincial resources, best practices and cost savings to find ways of improving early diagnosis, treatment and care. The idea is to also increase awareness about the day-to-day realities of this disease.
“HCIWG’s show of unity is a turning point in the history of dementia in this country,” says Mimi Lowi-Young, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Canada. “Canadians have spoken; they want and need better dementia care now, especially in absence of a cure.”
Lowi-Young explains that it comes down to a question of economics.
“We have excellent resources provincially. We need to bring these together into one comprehensive, coordinated national dementia plan so Canadians wherever they live receive standardized care that is affordable and cost-effective.”