Toronto – An Expert Panel has released a report unclear the best ways to adapt the growing incidence of Alzheimer's and other forms of Dementia among Canadians as a basis for the long-promised national strategy for progressive brain disease.
The Canadian Health Sciences Panel's report, released Monday, is aimed at helping Canada's Public Health Agency implement and implement a national Dimensia strategy, which is expected to be unveiled towards the end of the year.
"The report is not a plan," said Dr. Howard Bergman of McGill University, who was chaired by the six-member panel. "It will tell you how to prepare the plan by looking at the evidence and then assessing the best practices."
More than half a million Canadians live with dementia. By 2031, this number is expected to be nearly double, says the Algerian Society of Canada. Women are two-thirds of those affected by neurodegenerative conditions.
In the document, panel members say quality of life for Canadians living with dementia and their caregivers, and also access to health and social care, can be improved across all stages of the disease process, which in some people can last for years, even decades. .
By the overall findings of individual provinces and national and international policies and best practices in dementia care and support, the report recommended that seven national priorities be considered in developing a national strategy. They include managing persons living with dementia, education and support for careers, building and supporting health and social care workforce, and supporting research and innovation in dementia.
Despite the lack of a formalized pan-Canadian strategy, Bergman said the federal government was a solid basis for creating a disease-costing plan that cost the country an estimated $ 10.4 billion a year. By 2031, this figure is expected to increase by 60 percent, to almost $ 17 billion.
"I have often heard that Canada is not a dementia strategy," he said of Montreal. "What is wrong, because we have killed dementia plans to compare with the best plans in the world, which began in the 1990s."
The challenge for the Public Health Agency, he said, would be to nurture best practices of national strategy plans, to support those who may have the difficulty of accessing diagnostic and care services, including Canadian living in rural areas, immigrants, and Indigenous Canadians. And the inside of the LGBTQ community.
A national dementia strategy must be flexible and avoid a "one-size-fits-all approach," said Bergman.
Pauline Tardif, CEO of the Alzheimer Society, called the Kahs release "really important" to the development of the national strategy.
"To be really effective, the strategy needs to be guided by what we call best practices in diamond care and support," she said. "So the CAHS report really provides us with the evidence as to what is needed."
Many people living with dementia and their caregivers continue to experience limited access to cognitive evaluation services and often fragmented care, reports, which recommends the national strategy, provided for timely diagnosis of dementia, accurate access to treatment and better and earlier support for careers. .
This is one of the keys in the report, "said Bernman," so when you see your parents starting to have memory problems you don't have to wait a year just to see someone. "
Tardif holds the report of the report that the formation of any national strategy should include input of people with dementia and their caregivers.
"The most important, I think, is the voice of lived experience," she said.
For Keith Barrett, 59, it took more than two years before he was diagnosed with early-onset dementia after the Ottawa businessman began to become increasingly abusive to memory problems that left him frustrated and angry.
"So one of those things that is dear to my heart is the need for better research on diagnosis and treatment," said Barrett of the planned national strategy.
The other key issue is stigma to men with dementia, which he said is exposed to "right of the go." People would ask if he was still driving and when he would have to leave.
"And if they know I have diagnosed it, they will talk to my wife. But I'm right there," said Barrett, who participated in the monthly anti-stigma campaign of the United States Society.
"Focus on what I can do," said Barrett, who for now continues to work and drive with the help of a GPS. "And not what I'm going to be able to do in the future."
– Go @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.