Seniors Calling…

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According to a recently released Discussion Paper, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care estimates that close to 228,000 Ontarians are currently living with dementia.

“Developing Ontario’s Dementia Strategy: A Discussion Paper, is a critical step in our government’s work to develop a comprehensive strategy to address the needs of Ontarians with dementia and their care partners.” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

As Ontario’s population ages, it is expected that these numbers will rise to 255,000 people in 2020 and over 430,000 people by 2038.  While dementia is most common among people over the age of 65, almost seven percent of dementia diagnoses in Ontario are made in people between 40 and 65 years old.

Additionally, about 64 percent of people diagnosed with dementia are women. Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia are the most common forms of dementia, but there are many other types, including Lewybody dementia, frontotemporal dementia and Parkinson’s disease  with dementia.

With the release of the Discussion Paper, The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced that they are undertaking public consultations on the development of Ontario’s Dementia Strategy.

“We want to hear how we can improve dementia care in Ontario, what services you think are currently being delivered well and what services can be improved. The results from this survey will help develop Ontario’s Dementia Strategy.” Dr. Eric Hoskins stated. “Through this discussion paper, we hope to create a conversation that will help inform the next steps in the development of our strategy to ensure the needs of patients, their families, and their care partners are met.”

‘It is estimated that from 2008-2038, dementia will cost Ontario close to $325 billion.24 This includes health care as well as other costs, including lost wages or out-of-pocket expenses experienced by people with dementia and their care partners. When compared to individuals without dementia, people living with dementia visit a doctor more frequently, have a higher number of prescriptions, and are twice as likely to visit an emergency department or be hospitalized for preventable issues. People with dementia are also more likely to remain in hospital longer than necessary while waiting for appropriate housing or rehabilitation services.’

The Full Discussion Paper is here.

The Online Survey is an opportunity to share your ideas about Ontario’s Dementia Strategy going forward.

Issues for consideration include:

  • What would make it easier for people with dementia, their care partners and care providers to navigate available services and supports?
  • Have you experienced or observed seamless, well-coordinated dementia care?
  • What can be done to improve communication between health care providers?
  • What services or supports (for example, home care or adult day programs) are effective in assisting care partners of people with dementia?
  • Are there any services that are currently not available that should be?
  • Are there any services or supports currently offered that care partners feel are not very effective?
  • Are there any services or supports currently offered that care partners feel are not very effective?
  • What advice would you give to improve them?

To take the Dementia Strategy online survey click here.

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