CISION (May14) Government of Canada Hosts National Dementia Conference

Government of Canada Hosts National Dementia Conference: Inspiring and Informing a National Dementia Strategy

OTTAWA, May 14, 2018 /CNW/ - Dementia is having a significant and growing impact on Canadians, with more than 400,000 Canadians aged 65 and older diagnosed with the condition. As part of its commitment to improving the lives of Canadians with dementia as well as their families and caregivers, the Government of Canada is holding a National Dementia Conference over the next two days. 

Hosted by the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, the conference is bringing together a broad range of stakeholder groups and partners from across the country to help inform a national dementia strategy.

The conference is an opportunity for key stakeholders, including those living with dementia, and those working with and caring for them, to share perspectives and provide valuable input to help ensure that the strategy will be reflective of their needs. Input is being sought in several areas, including research and innovation, support and care, awareness, stigma reduction, and education.

At the conference, the Minister announced the establishment of a Ministerial Advisory Board to advise her on matters related to the health of persons living with dementia. The Board, which will be co-chaired by Dr. William E. Reichman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Baycrest and the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation, and Pauline Tardif, Chief Executive Officer of the Alzheimer Society of Canada, will represent people living with dementia, their caregivers, researchers, advocacy groups, and health care professionals.

The National Dementia Conference and the establishment of the Ministerial Advisory Board on Dementia] fulfills two key components of the National Strategy for Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias Act.


"The Government of Canada is committed to moving forward on a national dementia strategy that is inclusive of all stakeholders and that builds on the innovative work already underway across the country. The National Dementia Conference and the establishment of the Ministerial Advisory Board on Dementia are critical milestones in the development of a national dementia strategy. Through collaboration, and with the best available evidence and advice, we will continue to improve the quality of life for those living with dementia as well as their families and caregivers."

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

"The increasing prevalence of dementia is one of the greatest public health challenges of our time. This strategy presents an opportunity to integrate the shared perspectives of all stakeholders impacted by dementia, and to build on the innovation assets we have across the country. Together, we must ensure that key supports will be in place to address the needs of the aging population. The federal government's commitment to developing a national dementia strategy is a great step forward for all Canadians today, for generations to come."

Dr. William E. Reichman
Co-Chair, Ministerial Advisory Board on Dementia 

"The Alzheimer Society looks forward to working with the Government of Canada to create a comprehensive national dementia strategy that will prepare our country to meet the challenges ahead. The increasing numbers of Canadians living with dementia as well as the continuing stigma and discrimination associated with the condition underscores the urgent need to proceed with the strategy development as a public health, social and economic priority."

Pauline Tardif
Co-Chair, Ministerial Advisory Board on Dementia

Quick Facts

  • 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.
  • Budget 2018 proposes $20 million over five years, starting in 2018-19, and $4 million per year ongoing, for community-based projects that aim to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and to ensure that caregivers have access to the resources they need.
  • The Government of Canada is working with partners in the provincial, private and non-profit sectors to support the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, which brings together more than 400 researchers from across the country to improve prevention, diagnosis, treatments and quality of life for those living with dementia and for their caregivers.
  • In 2015, the Government of Canada joined the province of Ontario in supporting the establishment of the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation. The federal investment of $42 million over five years supports the development, testing and scale-up of products and services to support brain health and aging, with a focus on dementia.
  • Through the Networks of Centres of Excellence program, the Government of Canada has provided $36.6 million to the AGE-WELL Network to harness accessible technologies to improve health outcomes and increase independence and quality of life for Canadians, including those living with dementia and their caregivers.