Backgrounder: Investing in Community-based Projects to Address Challenges of Dementia
As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to improving the lives of people living with dementia, and their families and caregivers, the Government released A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire—Canada’s first national dementia strategy in June 2019. The Strategy sets out three national objectives: prevent dementia; advance therapies and find a cure; and improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and caregivers. Projects announced today support the implementation of the strategy.
The Dementia Community Investment (DCI) provides ongoing annual funding of $4 million to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and their caregivers. The DCI supports community-based projects that will enhance the well-being of people living with dementia and family, friends and caregivers, increase knowledge about dementia and its risk factors, and undertake research to evaluate the effectiveness of project interventions.
Budget 2019 provided $50 million over five years to support the implementation of key elements of the Strategy. The funding has been divided into two components: $40 million for the newly created Dementia Strategic Fund (DSF), and $10 million for dementia surveillance. The DSF supports a variety of activities, including the development and implementation of a national public education and awareness campaign, targeted awareness raising initiatives, initiatives that support access to and use of dementia guidance, and the creation of a comprehensive online portal to share dementia information resources with Canadians.
Dementia Community Investment Project Descriptions
BC Centre for Palliative Care – Institute for Health System Transformation and Sustainability
Mobilizing and equipping community based organizations
PHAC funding: $699,933 over 2 years
The Institute for Health System Transformation and Sustainability will create culturally sensitive and tailored interventions for advanced and palliative care planning for populations at higher risk for dementia, which will be tested in urban ethno-cultural, LGBTQ2+, and four rural Saanich Village First Nations communities.
COSTI Immigrant Services
Ethno-Cultural and Linguistically Based Support Services to People Living with Dementia
PHAC funding: $843,722 over 4 years
The COSTI initiative is developing a model for education and support for family and friend caregivers of people living with dementia from ethno-cultural communities in the Greater Toronto Area. Building on their existing Seniors Day Program for people living with dementia, this intervention will design specialized activities and programming for family/friend caregivers to reflect participants’ cultural heritage, beliefs and values, caregiving practices, and preferences. The specialized programming will allow ethno-cultural communities with cultural and language barriers to learn about dementia and its symptoms, build family and friend caregiver capacity, and potentially increase these communities’ readiness to seek medical care.
Centre de recherche sur le vieillissement de Sherbrooke
Communities Supporting the Life Trajectory of Non-Native and Indigenous People Living with Dementia
PHAC funding: $937,538 over 4 years
The Centre de recherche sur le vieillissement de Sherbrooke is using this funding to develop and test age-friendly community action plans that incorporate the needs and culture of people living with dementia and family and friend caregivers in Indigenous communities. With the goal of keeping people living with dementia in their homes as long as possible, this project will examine how they interact within their communities, including with pharmacies, banks, grocery stores and community centres. This will help form the basis of recommendations and action plans for communities to become more dementia inclusive.
Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors
Cummings Centre Therapeutic Dementia Care Program
PHAC funding: $922,025 over 4 years
The Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors is creating an intergenerational program seeking to optimize the wellbeing of people living with diagnosed dementia and their family and friend caregivers through community engagement, activities, and educational supports. Some of the activities include leisure, creative arts and music therapy activities. A day program will provide respite and care capacity building for family and friend caregivers. As part of an awareness program, public lectures and videos will be designed and delivered and will focus on prevention, risk factors, stages of the condition, and care programming.
The project is expected to provide access to services for up to 1,000 people in Official Language Minority Communities in the Montreal area who often face barriers in accessing support, including women with low socioeconomic status, cultural minorities and LGBTQ2+ communities.
The Integration, Optimization and Promotion of Inclusive Approaches for LGBTQI2S People Living With Dementia and their Caregivers
PHAC funding: $726,006 over 4 years
Egale is using this funding to identify, develop, and evaluate tools and resources to better meet the needs of LGBTQ2+ people living with dementia and their caregivers. Egale will undertake an awareness campaign to share the products across Canada. Some of the educational material will include toolkits, checklists and how-to information documents. Digital education and training modules and a guidance document to help fill the cultural competency gap for family/friend caregivers will also be produced.
Hamilton Council on Aging
Integrating a Dementia-Friendly Community Plan into Hamilton’s Age Friendly Plan and Creating Dementia Friendly Actions in Haldimand-Norfolk (2020-2025)
PHAC funding: $810,471 over 4 years
The Hamilton Council on Aging is developing and evaluating dementia-friendly action plans which will be used to reduce stigma, enhance wellbeing and encourage social inclusion in rural settings for people living with dementia and their family/friend caregivers. The project will use a mirrored approach to compare the development of dementia-friendly action plans in an urban community already working towards becoming age-friendly and several rural settings without age-friendly plans. In addition, this project will promote education about dementia and its risk factors and support the expansion of the project’s reach to new populations and jurisdictions to enhance knowledge about how to create dementia-friendly communities.
Jewish General Hospital
What connects us: A mixed methods ethnography to evaluate an intersectoral participatory approach for sustainable community-based initiatives to destigmatize dementia
PHAC funding: $939,116 over 4 years
The Jewish General Hospital is creating and implementing an arts-based program for people living with dementia who have or are at risk for mental illness to identify stigmatizing experiences. The products from this program will be used in an anti-stigma and awareness initiative. The project will focus on marginalized communities, especially low socio-economic families, linguistic minorities and immigrants in Montreal, Quebec.
Dementia Dialogue Podcast Network
PHAC funding: $127,868 over 4 years
Lakehead University is giving a voice to people living with dementia through podcasts to increase understanding and awareness of dementia, help reduce stigma and improve coping and self-care strategies for people with lived experience as well as their caregivers. The Dementia Dialogue podcasts allows people with dementia and their care/life partners to share experiences and thus enable their peer listeners to understand and gain insight into their own experience and strengthen their adaptive skills. The program will involve people living with dementia in each region of Canada and will actively involve women in all aspects of the project as well as First Nations communities, the LGBTQ community and Official Language Minority francophone communities in Ontario and New Brunswick.
Saint Elizabeth Health Care
Evaluating co-designed tools for strong partnerships in the dementia care triad
PHAC funding: $149,666 over two years
The Saint Elizabeth Health Care project is receiving funding to develop and pilot tools to help address burnout and stress in caregivers and to develop practices aimed at strengthening relationships between people living with dementia, family and friend caregivers and care providers. The project will work with Beausoleil First Nations in Ontario, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council in British Columbia, Poplar River First Nations and Bunibonibee Cree Nation in Manitoba, as well as a rural francophone community in New Brunswick.
Société Alzheimer de Granby et région
Fun in the Community Approach: Creating Welcoming Environments for People with Cognitive Impairments
PHAC funding: $939,854 over 4 years
The Fun in the Community Approach: Creating Welcoming Environments for People with Cognitive Impairments is creating and testing a program which shares activities that can be taught at home to people living with dementia and family/friend caregivers. The project will support the social participation of people living with dementia and family/friend caregivers through activities tailored to their interests, potentials and aspirations. The funding will support public awareness activities. The project, taking place in rural and urban settings in Quebec and Nova Scotia, will also develop tools and guides on topics such as awareness and facilitation training.
The New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes
The New Brunswick Dementia Friendly Initiative
PHAC funding: $397,251 over 4 years
The New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes project is developing and implementing a set of best practices, toolkits, and approaches that include lived experience with the long term aim of helping communities in New Brunswick become more dementia-friendly. This project will focus on age-friendly communities and on communities without this designation. The project will take place in both urban and rural anglophone, francophone, and bilingual settings.
University of Manitoba
Living with Dementia in rural First Nations Communities: A Health and Wellness Project
PHAC funding: $471,373 over 25 months
The University of Manitoba funding will be used to develop programming and increase knowledge on risk factors related to dementia in rural and remote First Nations communities. Utilizing a First Nations Holistic Policy and Planning model, the project will seek to raise awareness about risk factors for people living with dementia and family, friends and caregivers, and promote risk reduction strategies. The project will work with 7 First Nations communities in Manitoba: Lake Manitoba First Nation, Pinaymootang First Nation, Sagkeeng Anicinabe, Bloodvein First Nation, Norway House Cree Nation, Opaskwayak Cree Nation and Little Saskatchewan First Nation.
Dementia Strategic Fund Project Description
Native Women’s Association of Canada
Stigma: An Exploration of Lived Experience, Understandings and Behaviours of Dementia within Indigenous Communities.
PHAC funding: $163,603 over 12 months
This project aims to strengthen the capacity of the Native Women’s Association of Canada to conduct an Indigenous-led, distinctions-based awareness initiative with the goal of reducing stigma and encouraging and supporting dementia-inclusiveness.
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