Long-term care would have valuable role in dementia strategy: Lowi-Young

Photo1

‘There is an opportunity for sharing and scaling best practices across the country’

Alzheimer Society of Canada CEO Mimi Lowi-Young says the long-term care sector would play an important role in the Alzheimer Society of Canada’s proposed Canadian Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Partnership (CADDP), which would be integral to co-ordinating, facilitating and implementing a national dementia strategy.

There has been a push from the Alzheimer Society, the long-term care sector, researchers and politicians for the federal government to adopt a nationwide strategy to address the growing number of Canadians affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Alzheimer Society of Canada CEO Mimi Lowi-Young

Alzheimer Society of Canada CEO Mimi Lowi-Young

“I believe that the (long-term care) sector would be an important member of that group (the CADDP) that would come together to develop the strategy, because long-term care is a very important part of the continuum of health care for a person with dementia,” Lowi-Young tells The OMNIway.

The long-term care sector also has a vested interest in a strong dementia strategy.

“When nearly 70 per cent of the people in long-term care homes have some form of dementia, I think the long-term care sector is actually very willing to participate actively in being able to move forward with a national dementia strategy,” she says.

There are more Canadians today who are 65 and older than there are people 14 and younger. Age is the No. 1 risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, which affects an estimated 747,000 Canadians. Experts say Canada can expect to see that number double to 1.4 million by 2031.

Canada and Germany are the only G7 countries that do not have a national dementia strategy. France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and the United States all have national dementia strategies.

With a growing number of Canadians expected to develop dementia in coming years, it will be challenging for the long-term care sector to accommodate everyone affected by the neurodegenerative disease.

But, says Lowi-Young, the long-term care sector’s knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia could help community care services, for example, by advising on best practices related to dementia care.

“There is an opportunity for sharing and scaling best practices across the country,” she says.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.com.