More than 419,000 Canadian seniors have been diagnosed with some form of dementia. (Photo: Contributed) Although dementia mainly affects older people, it is not a normal part of aging. Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia, and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and may contribute to 60 to 70 per cent of cases. Photo: Contributed

Feds announce $50M strategy to fight dementia

Emphasis is on prevention and and supporting caregivers

The federal government has released a national strategy on dementia that focuses on preventing the affliction, supporting caregivers and finding cures.

According to federal statistics, more than 419,000 Canadian seniors have been diagnosed with some form of dementia, and they rely on an average of 26 hours a week of help from relatives and friends.

Most people with dementia and most caregivers are women.

Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor announced the $50-million plan on Monday.

Mental decline can have many different causes but there are few treatments and those that exist don’t do much but slow dementia’s progression.

‘There is a life to live after a diagnosis’: UBC study probes stigma of dementia

So prevention is a major emphasis, with the government hoping that if Canadians get more exercise, eat better and don’t smoke, they’ll avoid dementia causes such as strokes.

The government also wants help to be more readily available to caregivers and make them more willing to ask for it.

The Canadian Press

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