Ministerial Message – Alzheimer’s Awareness Month – January 2018
January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, an opportunity for all Canadians to increase their awareness of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, which continues to have a significant and growing impact across Canada.
More than 400,000 Canadians aged 65 and older have been diagnosed with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. That’s why our government works with the provinces and territories as well as stakeholders in areas such as research, surveillance and innovation to improve the quality of life for those living with all types of dementia.
The Government of Canada is leading the development of a national dementia strategy that is inclusive of all stakeholders and builds on the innovative work already underway across the country. This includes creating an advisory board to advise me on the health care needs and gaps for people living with dementia and to provide valuable input into the development of the national dementia strategy. Also, I am pleased that the Government will be hosting a national conference in the spring that will bring together a broad range of stakeholders and partners from across the country to facilitate effective and inclusive conversations about the national strategy.
We also understand that more research is needed to learn about the causes of dementia, reduce stigma and identify the most effective ways to prevent, diagnose and treat it. That is why we are supporting the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, a research initiative that brings together more than 350 researchers and 14 public and private funding partners from across Canada to improve prevention, treatment and quality of life for those with dementia and their caregivers. I’m proud to say that through the Consortium we are supporting the largest ever study of dementia in Canada, involving 1,600 Canadians and being carried out at 30 sites across the country.
We are also investing in partnerships that focus on technological and social innovations. One of these is the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation, which is receiving $42 million over five years to support the development, testing and introduction of products and services to support brain health and aging, with a focus on dementia.
I encourage you to learn more about Alzheimer’s and dementia and to visit the Alzheimer Society of Canada website to learn about the warning signs. Let’s work together to improve the lives of Canadians with dementia, as well as their families and caregivers.
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
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