Home Health Budget responds to long-standing requests for the federal dementia strategy | EverythingGP...

Budget responds to long-standing requests for the federal dementia strategy | EverythingGP | Grande Prairie, Peace Region

Groups such as the Alzheimer Society, which have long pushed Ottawa to act, welcomed the announcement, which will amount to three million in 2019-2020 and 12 million each year in the following fiscal years.

The Alzheimer Society CEO Pauline Tardif said the funding is a "significant step" towards a national dementia strategy that will ultimately help affected families lead a better life.

The number of Canadians living with dementia should almost double to nearly a million in 15 years, the company said in a statement, adding that Canadians now spend more than $ 10.4 billion a year in direct and indirect costs to take care of those with dementia. In 15 years, the group said the figure should rise to $ 16.6 billion. Neither of the two figures includes millions of hours of free assistance provided by families and friends.

Former NDP MP Claude Gravelle introduced legislation in 2011 that requires a national dementia strategy to support Canadians devastated by Alzheimer's and related dementia diseases.

In 2017, an account of a private member of Conservative MP and former Cabinet Minister Rob Nicholson on development and implementation of a national health care strategy for Canadians afflicted with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia received royal assent. He was seconded by Liberal MP Rob Oliphant.

The government has clearly listened, said Oliphant on Wednesday.

"Our account obviously could not say that we were asking for money to spend because the accounts of private members cannot do it," Oliphant said Wednesday. "One of the reasons why we do the accounts of private members is to draw the attention of the government to a problem and take it forward."

Conservative deputy leader Lisa Raitt, whose husband Bruce was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, said at an interview on Wednesday that he will be watching for future details on dementia strategy.

"They put the framework for funding in place for something we will see what it is about in the future," he said.

"What happens next is the most important thing," said Raitt. "They understand where the right place to put the money is or we end up with a very heavy bureaucracy that will not help people in the field and this is my concern. That's why I need to see what happens".

NDP health critic Don Davies said on Wednesday he was satisfied with the announced budget for a budgeted dementia strategy.

But he said that clearly it is not up to what is required, given the extent of dementia in Canada and how it is expected to be Mongol.

"We are getting older, it is a widespread disease and I think we should invest in anticipation of this," he said, adding that his party's research suggests that the number of Canadians living with dementia is approaching 750,000 compared to 400,000.

-Follow @kkirkup on Twitter

Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press

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