First projects announced under the Dementia Community Investment funding program
January 31, 2020 Ottawa, Ontario Public Health Agency of Canada
More than 432,000 Canadians aged 65 and older are living with diagnosed dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia affects not only individuals living with the condition, but also their families, caregivers and communities.
To conclude Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced an investment of more than $4.6 million for projects aimed at improving the lives of people living with dementia, their families and caregivers. Funding recipients include: the Alzheimer Society of Canada, the University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta, the Native Women’s Association of Canada and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. This funding will support projects focused on developing and testing resources and community-based supports, and reducing caregiver burnout and social isolation, including in Indigenous communities.
The Government of Canada is supporting these projects through the Dementia Community Investment (DCI), which supports community-based projects that address the challenges of dementia. Each project funded by the DCI involves people with lived experience in helping to design, deliver or evaluate the project.
“Far too many Canadians live with dementia, and it has wide ranging impacts on families and caregivers. Canadians living with dementia, and those who support them, deserve access to the resources they need to live safely and independently in their communities. Our government is focused on ensuring that Canadians living with dementia, families and caregivers can have the best possible quality of life.”
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
“This much-needed investment will build on the successful work that the Alzheimer Society has been doing to create dementia-friendly communities across the country. The increasing prevalence of dementia demands a complete shift in our social attitudes towards the disease and in our ability to provide the supports that enable Canadians with dementia to live to their fullest with dignity.”
CEO, Alzheimer Society of Canada
“Inuvialuit Regional Corporation is grateful for this approval which initiates support for Inuvialuit and their families. Along with the Government of Canada, we can now jointly recognize that dementia is an ever-increasing issue in our Region. IRC commends this significant acknowledgement. We are additionally pleased to see an example of the direct government to government approach resulting in investment to Inuvialuit Settlement Region communities.”
Mr. Duane Ningaqsiq Smith
Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
“Our project will provide an opportunity to support the development of a toolkit that aims to address the difficulties and social isolation in taking on a caregiving role in rural and remote Indigenous communities as well as contribute to a growing knowledge base of culturally safe and trauma-informed dementia education. All Indigenous women and gender-diverse people-including Elders and seniors-deserve culturally safe supports in their communities.”
President, Native Women’s Association of Canada
“The UBC School of Nursing is pleased to be taking the lead on this important initiative, working in collaboration with community groups to build systems of support to reduce the isolation and stigma that so often surround dementia. Ultimately, this project will improve health and wellbeing through meaningful social participation for people living with dementia and family or friend caregivers.”
Professor Elizabeth Saewyc
Director, UBC School of Nursing
“The University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing continues to lead in research on aging and care of older persons, and this crucial funding will build on our research to provide better social supports for family, friends, and caregivers of people living with dementia. The innovative interventions in this initiative will improve health and wellbeing not only for people living with dementia, but for the whole community of care that supports them.”
Professor Greta Cummings
Dean, Faculty of Nursing University of Alberta
On average, nine seniors are diagnosed with dementia every hour in Canada. After the age of 65, the risk of being diagnosed with dementia doubles every five years.
The projects announced today support the strategy’s third objective, namely, to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and their caregivers.