Fast-Facts and Frequently Asked Questions
There are about 76,000 new cases of dementia diagnosed in Canada each year. This is almost 150 new cases for every 1,000 seniors.
About two-thirds of Canadian seniors living with dementia are women.
There are more than 402,000 seniors (65+) living with dementia in Canada. This is about 7% of the population.
Did you know...
Dementia is becoming one of the most costly chronic diseases, and second largest cause of disability, in people over the age of 70.
Because dementia robs individuals of their ability to live independently, it also affects their caregivers, families, communities and society as a whole.
It is estimated that men with dementia would, on average, lose 16 years of life in full health due to disability and premature death, and that women would lose 15.2 years on average.
By 2038, caregivers are likely to provide more than 68 million hours of unpaid care to people living with dementia – in Alberta alone.
The non-medical costs of social support and employment impacts on caregivers are estimated to exceed over $500 million annually in Alberta, and over $2 billion across Canada each year.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
There are several reasons:
We know that the prevalence of dementia is increasing. The population is living longer, and with better diagnostic and screening tools, more people are being diagnosed.
It is widely held to be a public health crisis. It is believed that one in three seniors die with a dementia. The risk of dementia doubles every five years past the age of 65.
Alberta Health has an “Alberta Dementia Strategy and Action Plan”. It’s vision is that “Albertans are committed to optimizing brain health and valuing and supporting individuals impacted by dementia from its onset through to end-of-life.”
The direct health care costs related to dementia in Alberta were almost $650M. When social support costs and employment impacts on caregivers were included, the cost exceeded $1.2B.
We know that in 2008, caregivers provided more than 18 million hours of unpaid care to Albertans living with dementia. This is expected to increase to 68 million hours of unpaid care by 2038 (source: Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society, Alzheimer Society of Canada, 2010).
No one volunteers for the job of caregiver; however, many people assume the role of caregiver, and/or know of someone who is in that role. It is a struggle for those individuals, and we hope that the platform will be one more tool in their toolkit to help them cope with their role.
From a practical perspective, we know that the primary caregiver to a person living with dementia is the one who is most knowledgeable and able to report on the care recipient’s symptoms, and the impact that it is having on the caregiver. Due to the decreased (and decreasing capacity) of the person living with dementia, that individual may not be the best advocate for his or her symptoms and needs. The advocacy role falls to the caregiver.
We hope that by shining a light on caregiver wellness, we can empower the caregiver to proactively manage their own care, enabling them to ultimately provide better care to their care recipient. We want all caregivers to be empowered.