Government of Canada invests in projects to reduce risks of dementia and to support people living with dementia and caregivers

News release

January 25, 2024 | Ottawa, Ontario | Public Health Agency of Canada

The rate of newly diagnosed dementia cases has been decreasing over the past decade when age is taken into account, partly due to improvements in the adoption of healthy behaviours and the management of chronic conditions. According to the latest national data, almost 477,000 people aged 65 and older have been diagnosed with dementia in Canada. While there is currently no cure for dementia, adopting healthy behaviours may help reduce the risk of dementia and slow the progression of symptoms.

The Government of Canada is committed to improving the quality of life of people living with dementia and caregivers, and to increasing knowledge about reducing the risk of dementia. Today, the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health, announced a total of $17.1 million in funding through the Public Health Agency of Canada's Dementia Strategic Fund and Dementia Community Investment to raise awareness of dementia, promote healthy behaviours that reduce risk, improve access to high-quality dementia guidance, and enhance provincial and territorial online dementia information resources.

Through the Dementia Strategic Fund, $9.6 million in funding is supporting 23 new projects across the country that will raise awareness on dementia risk, stigma reduction and dementia-inclusive communities; enhance provincial/territorial online dementia resources; and improve guidance for prevention, person-centered care, and Indigenous populations.

Through the Dementia Community Investment, $7.5 million in funding is being provided to launch nine projects to improve health behaviours associated with risk/protective factors that may help to prevent and/or delay the onset and progression of dementia.

This funding supports the implementation of Canada's national dementia strategy, A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire.


"These new investments demonstrate the Government of Canada's commitment to advancing the objectives of Canada's dementia strategy and in continuing to serve Canadians in the most effective and meaningful way possible. These latest projects supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada will contribute to our efforts to reduce the risk of dementia and improve the health outcomes and quality of life of people living with dementia, their families, and caregivers."

The Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health

Quick facts

  • Dementia is an umbrella term that describes a set of symptoms affecting brain function. It is a chronic condition that usually gets more severe over time and is often characterized by a decline in cognitive (thinking) abilities such as memory, planning and judgment. Dementia may lead to physical changes like loss of coordination and affect language, mood, and behaviour.

  • About three-in-four Canadians report knowing someone who is living or has lived with dementia and believe that dementia is having a moderate to significant impact in Canada today.

  • Studies have identified several modifiable risk factors associated with a greater risk of developing dementia. For example, it is estimated that 12 risk factors could explain 40% of global dementia cases. These risk factors include lower levels of education, hearing loss, traumatic brain injury, hypertension, obesity, alcohol use, depression, smoking, social isolation, diabetes, physical inactivity and air pollution. Other risk factors currently being explored include diet, sleep quality and cholesterol levels.

  • Canada's national dementia strategy, released in 2019, aims to prevent dementia, advance therapies and find a cure, and improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and caregivers. The strategy relies on the collaborative efforts of many organizations and individuals across the country including: federal, provincial, territorial, and local governments; advocacy groups; researchers; health care providers; and academics.

  • Since 2017, the Government of Canada has provided more than $500 million in funding that directly supports the national dementia strategy through community-based projects, awareness raising efforts including a national campaign, improved access to high-quality dementia guidance, investments in dementia research and surveillance, and innovations in brain health and aging.

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Christopher Aoun
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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