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Dementia in Canada

Alzheimer’s disease is not an illness we can ignore. It has an overwhelming impact on the people who develop it, and the families who care for them.

To visualize the impact of Alzheimer's disease, check out this infographic on Alzheimer's research in Canada from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

The Alzheimer Society believes that we are facing a national crisis that requires innovative and integrated thinking to find effective solutions. We’re working hard to create a national dementia plan. You can help!

The number of Canadians with cognitive impairment, including dementia, is rising sharply.

According to a 2012 study commissioned by the Alzheimer Society of Canada, the number of Canadians living with cognitive impairment, including dementia, now stands at 747,000 and will double to 1.4 million by 2031. These figures comprise not only Canadians diagnosed with dementias, including Alzheimer’s disease, but also those with cognitive impairment, which frequently leads to the more degenerative forms.

Canada’s health-care system is ill-equipped to deal with the staggering costs

Today, the combined direct (medical) and indirect (lost earnings) costs of dementia total $33 billion per year. By 2040, this figure will skyrocket to $293 billion per year.

Pressures on family caregivers are mounting

In 2011, family caregivers spent 444 million unpaid hours per year looking after someone with dementia, representing $11 billion in lost income and 227,760 lost full-time equivalent employees in the work force. By 2040, they will be devoting a staggering 1.2 billion unpaid hours per year.

Canada needs a dementia plan – now

The Alzheimer Society wants a national dementia plan to help reduce the burden of dementia and to support more people with the disease across Canada. Health-care providers, politicians, and policy makers need to focus on:

  • Increasing funding for research into all aspects of dementia
  • Promoting earlier diagnosis and intervention
  • Strengthening the integration of primary, home and community care
  • Enhancing skills and training of the dementia workforce
  • Recognizing the needs and improving supports for caregivers

Last Updated: 06/20/14
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