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Government of Canada supports project to improve awareness and reduce the risk of dementia in Canada

HAMILTON, ON, May 26, 2023 /CNW/ - Dementia affects millions of people worldwide. As our population ages, the number of people living with dementia is expected to nearly double by 2030. Though dementia cannot be prevented and there is currently no cure, adopting healthy lifestyle behaviours can help reduce the risk.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the more than 450,000 Canadians living with diagnosed dementia, their families, and caregivers. We are also working with organizations across the country to increase awareness, reduce the risk of developing dementia, reduce stigma, and improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and their caregivers.

Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced $382,740 in funding through the Dementia Strategic Fund (DSF). This new investment will support work by McMaster University to evaluate the effectiveness of existing e-learning resources on iGeriCare and McMaster Optimal Aging Portal to raise awareness about how to reduce the risk of dementia. After evaluating the impact on knowledge and intention to engage in risk reduction activities, bilingual e-learning tools will be promoted to help educate Canadians about the impact of healthy lifestyles and management of medical risk (such as hearing loss and high blood pressure) factors on brain health.

The project announced today is funded through Budget 2019, which announced $50 million over five years to support the implementation of Canada's first national dementia strategy, A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire.


"While there is currently no cure for dementia, there are important steps we can all take to reduce our risks of developing it. Through this project, McMaster University will help advance our efforts to inform and support Canadians in risk reduction activities such as healthier lifestyles and stronger brain health, which are key to reducing the risk of dementia. Through our Dementia Strategy, we will keep working with partners to address dementia by helping everyone adopt healthier lifestyle habits, increase awareness, reduce stigma, and improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and their caregivers."

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos 
Minister of Health

"Dementia affects too many Canadians and will increase as our population ages. Reducing the risk of dementia is a top priority for the Government of Canada. We are investing to improve Canadians' knowledge about dementia and the importance of healthy behaviours. McMaster's impressive research and knowledge mobilization efforts in the field of aging and dementia will go a long way toward this goal."

The Honourable Filomena Tassi 
Minister of the Federal Economic Agency for Southern Ontario

Quick Facts

  • Dementia is having a substantial and growing impact in Canada and around the world. If current trends continue, it is estimated that the number of people living with dementia worldwide may increase from 57 million in 2019 to 83 million by the end of this decade, and 152 million by 2050.

  • Dementia is an umbrella term that describes a set of symptoms affecting brain function. It is a chronic condition that usually gets more severe over time and is often characterized by a decline in cognitive (thinking) abilities such as memory, planning, and judgment. Dementia can also lead to physical changes like loss of coordination and affect language, mood and behaviour.

  • Studies have identified several modifiable risk factors associated with a greater risk of developing dementia. It is estimated that 12 risk factors could explain 40% of cases of dementia globally. These risk factors include lower levels of education, hearing loss, traumatic brain injury, hypertension, obesity, alcohol use, depression, smoking, social isolation, diabetes, physical inactivity and air pollution. Other risk factors currently being explored include diet and cholesterol levels.

  • Canada's national dementia strategy, released in 2019, aims to prevent dementia, advance therapies and find a cure, and improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and their caregivers. The strategy relies on the collaborative efforts of many organizations and individuals across the country including federal, provincial, territorial, and local governments; advocacy groups; researchers; health care providers; and academics.

  • Since 2019, the Government of Canada has announced more than $300 million in funding that supports the national dementia strategy. This includes $50 million to support key elements of implementation, including a national public education campaign, awareness raising projects, improved dementia guidance, and enhanced dementia surveillance.

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SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada


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