With more than 432,000 Canadians over the age of 65 living with dementia, communities across Canada are seeing the impacts this condition has on both those living with dementia and those who care for them. The number of people living with dementia is expected to increase, making improving the lives and wellbeing of those impacted by dementia a priority for Canada.
Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced an investment of more than $7.85 million over four years, towards 12 new projects that will support individuals living with dementia, their families, caregivers and communities. The Government of Canada is funding 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.
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These 12 new projects will address the needs of individuals in Canadian communities in areas such as:
· Raising awareness and de-stigmatizing dementia
· Fostering effective communications between care providers, and people living with dementia and their families to mitigate stress and enhance wellbeing
· Creating community action plans for the social inclusion of people living with dementia
The projects announced today support one of the three objectives of Canada’s first national dementia strategy, A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire—improving the quality of life of people living with dementia and their caregivers.
In addition to the projects funded under the DCI, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is announcing the first project under the new Dementia Strategic Fund (DSF). PHAC is providing $163,603 to the Native Women’s Association of Canada for a project entitled Stigma: An Exploration of Lived Experience, Understandings and Behaviours of Dementia within Indigenous Communities. The DSF supports the implementation of key elements of the national dementia strategy, including a national public education/awareness campaign, targeted awareness raising initiatives, initiatives that support access to and use of dementia guidance, and the creation of a comprehensive online portal to share dementia information resources with Canadians.