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Statement from the Minister of Health on Alzheimer's Awareness Month

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OTTAWA, ON, Jan. 19, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ - Alzheimer's disease and dementia are having a substantial and growing impact in Canada and around the world. The World Health Organization estimates the number of people living with dementia worldwide will increase from 55 million to 78 million by the end of this decade. In fact, Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia that contributes to 60-70% of dementia cases.

The Government of Canada remains committed to supporting Canadians living with dementia, their families, and caregivers. That's why the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is working with stakeholders and partners across the country to raise awareness about dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. Through this awareness, we can help reduce the risk and stigma around the conditions, improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and family/friend caregivers, as well as enable dementia-inclusive communities.

One of the ways that PHAC is doing this involves supporting the Native Women's Association of Canada to conduct an Indigenous-led, distinctions-based awareness initiative with the goal of reducing stigma and encouraging dementia-inclusiveness. In addition, in Ontario, the University of Waterloo is training local wellness advocates to work with people living with dementia and family/friend caregivers to facilitate positive health behaviours related to physical activity and healthy eating.

Understanding dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, requires targeted research into specific focus areas. Recognizing that women make up 70% of people affected by Alzheimer's disease, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is supporting research through the Wilfred and Joyce Posluns Chair in Women's Brain Health and Aging, to study sex and gender differences to improve women's brain health.

Still, more needs to be done. We all have a role to play in reducing stigma and supporting dementia-inclusive communities to help create a Canada where people living with dementia and caregivers feel valued, supported, and have an optimal quality of life.

This January, for Alzheimer's Awareness Month and beyond, I encourage you to visit to learn about the condition, what Canada is doing to support the national dementia strategy and the steps you can take to help lower the risk of developing dementia. You will also find tips on how to communicate with people living with dementia and how to address the stigma surrounding dementia.

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.

SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada


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