January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

From Alzheimer Society of Canada website:

Each January, the Alzheimer Society supports and leads Canada’s Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

During this month, we at the Society encourage organizations across Canada, and individuals like you, to learn more about dementia and its stark impact on Canadians.

And while Alzheimer’s Awareness Month may stop at the end of January, the experiences of people who live with dementia do not. As such, we ask you to take what you’ve learned during the month and continue to share it throughout the year.

By understanding what people living with dementia experience in their day-to-day-lives – their struggles, their successes and their hopes – together we can raise awareness of dementia throughout Canada.

Awareness is the first step to fighting stigmareinforcing human rights and pushing for policy change, as well as other actions that can lift up Canadians living with dementia.

For this year’s theme, we are letting people across Canada know that the Alzheimer Society is the First Link® to Support, Community, Knowledge and Expertise.

What is First Link®?

When a person is diagnosed with dementia, the Alzheimer Society is the first place to turn – and First Link® is the connection to support, care, knowledge, expertise, and referrals.

First Link® is the Alzheimer Society program offering approved services and information to those living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and caregivers. It encompasses the areas of Risk Reduction, Education, Living Well with the Disease, Community, Research, and Advocacy; an umbrella that brings together all aspects of the care and management of dementia in Canada.

With more than half a million Canadians living with dementia today, a number expected to reach almost one million in 10 years, the Alzheimer Society is continuing to enhance its support amongst people living with dementia to meet their needs early in, and throughout, their journey.

The goal of First Link® is to ensure a user of the services has the right support and information, from the time of an initial diagnosis and throughout the progression of the disease.

By connecting with First Link®, a user will have access to all the services available in their local area.

There are a variety of different programs and services administered at the local level of societies across the country.

Such services include counselling support and a better understanding of the different healthcare options in a specific province and Society, Staff will provide the appropriate access to the right services during the different stages of the disease.

Dementia Numbers in Canada

By the numbers

The urgency

597,000 The number of people in Canada living with dementia in 2020.1

955,900 The number people in Canada projected to be living with dementia in 2030.1

124,000 The number of people in Canada diagnosed with dementia in 2020.1

61.8% of those living with dementia in 2020 were women.1

1 in 5 Canadians have experience caring for someone living with dementia.4

The costs

Over $10.4 billion The annual cost of dementia to the Canadian economy and healthcare system.5

$359 million The cost to bring a dementia-treating drug from lab to market.6

The stigma

56% of Canadians are concerned about being affected by Alzheimer’s disease.4,7

46% ofCanadians admit they would feel ashamed or embarrassed if that they had dementia.4

87% of caregivers wish that more people understood the realities of caring for someone with dementia.4

How can you participate in Alzheimer’s Awareness Month?

Online Event: How to improve dementia support in Canada in 2023

Register now on Zoom : https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_i9GEVfhhTbWzCkzOcq9uhQ

Join us on January 18 at 12 noon Eastern Time for an important conversation on how we can all work to improve dementia support nationwide this year.

In September 2022, the Alzheimer Society of Canada launched a major study that included a long list of ways to improve dementia risk reduction and dementia care nationwide.

Now, for the January 2023 edition of Dementia Talks! Canada, we’ll chat with a variety of experts about ways they’d like to see dementia support improve over the next 12 months.

Join us on January 18 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern Time for this latest edition of our monthly conversation series. Together, we’ll talk about

  • how established and emerging researchers see opportunities for positive change
  • how brain health projects designed to reach Canadians who speak multiple languages are growing
  • how to connect with the Alzheimer Society’s nationwide FirstLink program, which provides free, evidence-based dementia help to folks across the country
  • what it’s like to provide long-distance care, and how that can be better supported

Register now on Zoom to learn from this free conversation. Or contact [email protected] with any questions.

ACA Programs:

One of our Age Friendly Programs is “Let’s Talk Dementia”. With our toolkit available online for download you can access educational materials that cover the following: Is dementia the same as Alzheimer’s disease? Can dementia be prevented or delayed? Alzheimer’s disease is just one form of dementia. Learn about what dementia is, what an age friendly/dementia friendly community looks like, and how to enhance quality of life for people living with dementia.

ABCD Dementia Inclusive Initiatives: https://www.rdndementia.ca/

Funded through the Public Health Agency of Canada, Rural Development Network’s (RDN), the ABCD Project is guided by three priorities aligned with Canada’s national dementia strategy,A Dementia Strategy for Canada – Together We Aspire. Those three categories are: 

  • dementia prevention 
  • reducing stigma related to dementia
  • supporting communities to become more dementia-inclusive

RDN’s ABCD Project aims to provide rural Albertan communities with a selection of evidence-based, dementia-friendly initiatives adaptable to rural settings. Through an expression of interest focused on rural Alberta communities looking to create dementia-inclusive environments, the ABCD Project team and Advisory Committee selected five communities to receive funding and additional project implementation support.

RDN understands that rural communities are presented with unique barriers when it comes to having the capacity to fund, develop, implement and evaluate community initiatives. A key component of the ABCD project is to provide support to the selected rural pilot communities in each of these areas in hopes to begin to establish a sustainable, dementia-friendly community.

Alberta Council on Aging is a stakeholder in the ABCD project. You can read the full report here which further explains the ABCD project and the purpose of an Environmental Scan and methods used. The report further explores the challenges rural communities face and expands on equitable care and what this means for minority populations. The report provides dementia-friendly initiatives and activities, dementia prevention, reducing dementia-related stigma and how to encourage and support communities in becoming dementia friendly.