Timely diagnosis, accessible services key to Alberta government’s dementia strategy

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WATCH ABOVE: In Tuesday's edition of Health Matters, Su-Ling Goh looks at Alberta's new plan to tackle dementia, updates us on flu vaccination rates and tells us why the University Hospital Foundation is celebrating a decade of money well-spent – Dec 19, 2017

Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman unveiled the new provincial dementia strategy Tuesday, focusing on brain health, timely diagnosis and accessible services.

The Alberta Dementia Strategy and Action Plan is built around four key outcomes:

  • Public understands impact of dementia and works towards optimal brain health
  • Those living with dementia and caregivers receive support in their communities
  • Timely recognition, diagnosis and clinical management through primary health care, supported by specialist services
  • Timely, accessible, integrated and high-quality dementia care and services.

Since 2015, roughly $6.8 million has been invested in measures to give Alberta families tools to support their loved ones living in their home communities.

The government is now providing $100,000 to support new pilot projects.

WATCH: Alberta researchers explore unique way of letting people with dementia preserve memories

The action plan calls for increased rural specialist consultations, improved mental health supports and better transitions for patients moving between different care settings.

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The strategy was developed using feedback from Albertans living with dementia, their caregivers and front-line organizations that deal with the disease.

READ MORE: Alberta to expand options for dementia patients

Cases of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, have been steadily on the rise across Canada, compounded by ageing baby boomers.

Over 42,000 Albertans were diagnosed with dementia last year. The risk of developing it doubles every five years after age 65.

The latest federal numbers show over 400,000 Canadians are living with dementia.

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