Alberta launches dementia strategy

Spotlight Staff

Alberta’s new dementia strategy supports and values families from the onset of dementia through to end of life, says a government news release.

“This plan offers a targeted and strategic approach that will lead to quality care, better brain health and stronger community supports for years to come,” Health Minister Sarah Hoffman says.

“We’re working to make life better for families while laying the groundwork for the future.

Plans respond to demands in the province.

“Many Albertans have asked for a comprehensive strategy and we have created one,” Seniors and Housing Minister Lori Sigurdson says.

“This strategy will support those living with dementia and their caregivers.

“I am proud to support our government’s work towards a dementia-friendly Alberta.”

The Alberta Dementia Strategy and Action Plan is framed around four key outcomes:

-That Albertans understand the impact of dementia and actively work towards optimal brain health.

-That Albertans living with dementia and their caregivers are supported in their communities.

-Timely recognition, diagnosis and clinical management through primary health care, supported by specialist services.

-Timely, accessible, integrated and high-quality dementia care and services.

The new plan calls for other improvements to help Alberta families, including increased rural specialist consultations, improved mental health supports and better transitions for patients moving between different care settings.

It also aims at broader changes to reflect the demographic shift.

The plan aspires to make Alberta a leader in dementia research, with a trained and supported workforce, bolstered by a comprehensive framework to guide measurement, monitoring and reporting.

“We understand the importance of supporting dementia-focused initiatives and we are seeing positive results that will benefit the lives of those living with dementia and their caregivers,” says Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO of Alberta Health Services.

“We are pleased to have a strategy to guide us forward together in planning for our aging population and their needs.”

More than 42,000 Albertans were diagnosed with dementia in 2016, but the risk of developing dementia doubles every five years beyond age 65.

As the population ages over the next 30 years, the number of Albertans living with dementia is expected to grow to more than 155,000.

Since 2015, about $6.8 million has been invested in measures to give families tools to support their loved ones living in their home communities.

The strategy was developed in collaboration with Albertans living with dementia, their caregivers and front-line organizations that deal with dementia.


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