EDITORIAL: Addressing dementia at all levels

Dementia is one of the country’s most pressing health issues.

According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, there are an estimated 564,000 Canadians living with dementia, and an additional 25,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

As of 2016, the combined health-care system and out-of-pocket caregiver costs are estimated at $10.4 billion per year.

Rarely talked about as recently as one generation ago, Alzheimer’s disease – the most prevalent disease associated with dementia – is now the seventh-leading cause of death in Canada.

Last year, the federal government launched a national dementia strategy with the passing of Bill C-233, An Act respecting a national strategy for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, thereby acknowledging the urgency for action to address the condition.

A national dementia strategy ensures that all Canadians living with dementia – as well as those caring for them – have access to the same level and quality of care, regardless of where they live in this country.

The Comox Valley has among the highest average age in Canada, at 47.3 — 6.1 years higher than the national average age; five years higher than the average age in B.C. (2016 census)

While we are living longer because of active lives, modern medicine and education about healthy nutrition, our demographic dictates that we have a higher than average number of dementia cases.

January is National Alzheimer Awareness Month.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. offers a variety of assistance to area families and other caregivers, such as the First Link Dementia Helpline. It can be reached at 1-800-936-6033.

The regional Alzheimer Resource Centre can connect residents to support groups, including ones that can be accessed by telephone, educational seminars and workshops, and programs that help people live well with dementia.

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. also provides useful resources for health care professionals.

For more information visit www.alzheimerbc.org

Just Posted

Three generations of trauma: Phyllis Webstad shares experience in residential school

The creator of Orange Shirt Day is in the Comox Valley, speaking about the trauma of residential schools

Comox Valley Airport features work from nationally renown artist

A significant new painting “Lions of the Sea,” featuring life-sized stellar and… Continue reading

Comox Valley Hospice Society Ultimate Fifty/50 Raffle winner announced

James Maxwell bought his ticket at Canadian Tire

Dinner, dance in honour of Kenny Shaw

Comox Legion honours one of the Valley’s prominent volunteers

‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

Island Health encourages sexual assault survivors to #TrustYourself

New social media campaign urges survivors of sexual assault to seek medical care

Canada announces $20M fund for women entrepreneurs

New federal program will provide up to $100,000 for female business owners to grow their operations

Vancouver Island man claims falling ice smashed his truck windshield

Man discovered volleyball-sized chunk ice on his truck Saturday, near Nanaimo, B.C.

B.C. veteran combats PTSD in the ring and on the farm

Cam Tetrault is a valuable contributor at Quesnel’s Two Rivers Boxing Club

B.C. vegan butcher to appear on Dragons’ Den

Victoria’s Very Good Butchers will star in Nov. 29 episode

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

Most Read