Feds invest in projects to raise dementia awareness
February 23, 2022
OTTAWA – More than one-third of Canadians indicate that they would feel uncomfortable telling their employer, neighbours, or others within their community about a dementia diagnosis. This finding highlights the stigma surrounding dementia, which can influence the way others see people living with dementia and how they see themselves. With almost 452,000 Canadians living with dementia, it is a challenge many Canadians continue to face every day.
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos (pictured), minister of health, along with Outremont MP, Rachel Bendayan, announced more than $1.8 million in funding for three projects in Quebec. These projects, which support the implementation of Canada’s national dementia strategy, will raise awareness about dementia with a focus on reducing risk and stigma and improving the quality of life of people living with dementia and family/friend caregivers.
“Many Canadians are, or will be, impacted by dementia through a personal diagnosis or that of a loved one. That’s why we are working to reduce the stigma surrounding dementia while increasing understanding of the condition and its risk factors. Through this funding, we’re taking a significant step towards promoting healthy ageing and creating more inclusive and supportive communities for people living with dementia, their families, and caregivers,” said Minister Duclos.
The Centre collégial d’expertise en gérontologie in Drummondville will receive up to $378,597 in funding to identify best practices for stigma reduction and dementia-inclusive communities that will be used as the basis for videos and online training to raise awareness and increase understanding about dementia among the general population and first responders in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
Lucilab, based in Montreal, will receive up to $716,000 to produce a national coaching app to educate at-risk Canadians aged 45-70 about dementia risk factors and motivate them to adopt healthier lifestyle habits with ongoing support from tele-counsellors. The app will focus on exercise, nutrition, and cognitive engagement, and be available in both official languages on smartphones, tablets, and computers.
McGill University will receive up to $758,430 to adapt and enhance McGill University’s existing bilingual Dementia Education Program to the current COVID-19 context, by using a virtual learning platform to educate and support family/friend care partners of people living with dementia. McGill University’s Dementia Education Program will reach diverse communities in Montreal, as well as remote communities in rural Quebec.
Nationally, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is funding these projects through the Dementia Strategic Fund (DSF) as well as the Dementia Community Investment (DCI). The DSF and the DCI projects will cover a wide range of topics, including raising awareness of dementia, helping reduce the risk of developing dementia, tackling stigma, encouraging dementia-inclusive communities, and improving the lives of people living with dementia as well as those of their family, friend, and caregivers.
The government has committed $50 million over 5 years to support the implementation of key elements of Canada’s first national dementia strategy, A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire.