It’s a bit of scary statistic: one in five baby boomers will likely develop dementia.
A new report looks at how to improve the lives of those living with dementia and that of their caregivers.
One of the authors is by Dr. Howard Bergman, (MD, FCFP, FRCPC, FCAHS), who chaired the expert panel developing the report. He is also Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University in MontrealListen
The report by The Canadian Academy of Health Sciences is intended as a guide for federal politicians in creating a national dementia plan.
The report for the CAHS is entitled, Improving the Quality of Life and Care of Persons Living with Dementia and their Caregivers (report HERE)
Dr Bergman chaired the six-member multi-disciplinary expert panel which produced the report.
It noted that there will be increased pressure on the health care system as the baby boomers age but that there should be a focus on the person as much or more so than the disease. That said, funding for ongoing research is critical.
The panel in developing their report, took into account best practices from several provincial programmes in existence, as well as from those in other countries, and how they may fit or be adapted to Canada’s health care system.
Dr. Bergman says important factors in reducing risk include learning while young to develop brain pathways, continued activity and stimulus throughout life. He also highlights the importance of adopting healthy lifestyles that might prevent or delay the onset of dementia, including careful control of blood pressure, and diabetes.
There are currently almost a half million Canadians living with dementia, with about two-thirds being women. The number of cases in Canada is expected to double by 2031.