The Government of Canada recognizes the impact that dementia has on individuals, families and communities, and is committed to improving the lives of people living with dementia, their families and caregivers. This includes creating a Canada where people living with dementia are respected and included in all aspects of community life.
The Dementia Community Investment (DCI) supports community-based projects that will enhance the wellbeing of people living with dementia and family and/or friend caregivers, increase knowledge about dementia and its risk factors, and undertake research to evaluate the effectiveness of project interventions.
In identifying community-based projects under the DCI, consideration is being given to populations that are more at risk for developing dementia (e.g. women, Indigenous populations) or experiencing barriers to accessing support (e.g. people living in rural and remote communities, members of LGBTQ2S communities).
Current Recipients and Project Descriptions
Alzheimer Society of Canada
Dementia Friendly Canada
PHAC funding: $940,000
The Alzheimer Society of Canada (ASC) will collaborate with and build on the work already done by the Alzheimer Societies of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan to create the vision of dementia-friendly communities across Canada. A dementia-friendly community is a community where people living with dementia are understood, respected and supported. It is an environment where people are aware of and understand dementia and where people living with dementia are included and have a choice in and control over their day-to-day lives and level of engagement.
To support a consistent approach across the country, the four provincial Alzheimer Societies will engage with both rural and urban centres. The ASC will develop a national Dementia-Friendly Canada (DFC) toolkit, which will include guides and tools to educate and train professionals in a variety of areas, such as transportation, recreation, libraries and the service sector. It will also include a module for the general public. Knowledge exchange events will be held to help distribute the DFC toolkit, as well as any other developed resources. A national dementia-friendly web page will also be created to showcase these new resources, as well as other relevant tools and related links.
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
Inuvialuit Settlement Region Dementia Awareness and Intervention
PHAC funding: $939,500
This project aims to optimize the health and wellbeing of people living with dementia and family and/or friend caregivers in Inuit communities of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories. Community engagement sessions will be held to help inform the creation of culturally sensitive educational resources, which will then be tested through in-community and in-home workshops.
The work of the IRC will provide these communities with culturally appropriate resources aimed at increasing the knowledge among family and/or friend caregivers of the various stages of dementia and how to support people living with dementia. In addition, through a close partnership with the Government of Northwest Territories’ Health and Social Services Authority, resources will be shared with long-term care staff to help ensure that Inuit Elders can receive more culturally appropriate care from non-Inuit professionals.
Native Women’s Association of Canada
Supporting a Circle of Care: A Culturally Informed Support Group and Toolkit for Indigenous Caregivers of People Living with Dementia
PHAC funding: $837,448
Through the development and testing of resources and community-based supports, this project aims to reduce social isolation and caregiver burnout, and increase family and/or friend caregiver knowledge of dementia, its risk factors and dementia caregiving strategies.
The project will engage Elders to identify underserved communities in need of support, provide tools and resources for caregivers and establish support groups in four Indigenous communities to better support caregivers of people living with dementia. Partnerships with Laurentian University and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Indigenous Partners for Engagement and Knowledge Exchange Network will also help ensure that the research components are broadly shared among health professionals to further support people living with dementia in Indigenous communities and their family and/or friend caregivers.
University of British Columbia
Building Capacity for Meaningful Participation by People Living with Dementia
PHAC funding: $999,888
This project aims to develop and evaluate effective ways to create opportunities for people living with dementia, and family or friend caregivers, to remain active and connected in their communities. The project will develop dementia-inclusive toolkits to help facilitate the participation and inclusion of people living with dementia in decision-making on care, self-advocacy, leadership and community life in a community in British Columbia and a community in Ontario. To improve the wellbeing of people living with dementia, the project will also develop initiatives in the areas of arts, social participation, fitness and volunteer activities.
University of Alberta
Supporting Family Caregivers of Persons Living with Dementia: Effectiveness and Sustainability of My Tools 4 Care-In Care
PHAC funding: $888,051
The University of Alberta’s My Tools 4 Care-In Care project is a web-based social support intervention for family and friend caregivers of people living with dementia who are residing in long-term care. It focuses on participants in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, and aims to improve the health and mental wellbeing of family or friend caregivers by developing and testing a web-based intervention. This intervention has interactive activities and a variety of online resources such as tip sheets on communicating with people living with dementia, and guidance on communicating and working with staff in long-term care facilities.
A National Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire
In June 2019, the Government of Canada launched A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire. Canada’s first national dementia 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.
The Strategy marks a key milestone in our efforts to create a Canada where people living with dementia and their caregivers are valued and supported, where quality of life is optimized, and where dementia is prevented, well understood and effectively treated.
The Dementia Community Investment will support the Strategy’s national objective to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and family and/or friend caregivers.
The Government of Canada is also investing $50 million over five years starting in 2019-20 to help implement key aspects of the Strategy. These investments focus on increasing awareness about dementia and reducing stigma, developing treatment guidelines and best practices for early diagnosis, and building a better understanding of the impact of dementia in our communities through surveillance.