Canada needs a national plan to deal with dementia

Canada is facing a looming crisis in the number of people afflicted with dementia—so New Democrats are calling on the government to develop a pan-Canadian strategy to deal with the disorder.

“G8 countries will hold a special summit on dementia tomorrow and Canada will be one of the few countries at the summit without a national dementia plan,” said NDP MP Claude Gravelle (Nickel Belt). “Canadians deserve better and I call on the government to support my bill C-356 to develop a national plan on dementia.”

Gravelle was joined by the Ottawa and Renfrew Alzheimer Society and Matt Dineen whose partner in her early 40s was recently diagnosed with dementia.

“I have written Health Minister Rona Ambrose as she prepares for the upcoming special December G8 Summit,” said Dineen. “A national dementia strategy is imperative for my family and so many others.”

747,000 Canadians live with dementia now. The number is expected to rise to 1.4 billion by 2031. The illness costs the Canadian economy an estimated $33 billion including millions of hours of unpaid caregiving.

“Canada needs a dementia plan now,” said NDP health critic Libby Davies (Vancouver—East). “Claude Gravelle’s bill supports The Alzheimer Society's call for a national dementia plan to help reduce the burden of dementia and to support more people with the disease across Canada.”