Statement Article from  Public Health Agency of Canada

Alzheimer's Awareness Month 2016 - Ministerial Message

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

During Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, I am asking all Canadians to join me in supporting those living with dementia by becoming a Dementia Friend. Learn about this disease and what you can do to help raise awareness so that we all are more understanding of the needs of those living with dementia and how we can help.

Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia are degenerative brain diseases that affect thinking, memory, mood, behaviour, and physical abilities.  Estimates are that up to 15 percent of Canadians over age 65 are living with dementia. Three in four Canadians know someone with dementia, and friends and family members often provide care to loved ones.

Researchers continue to discover more about dementia, including treatments to help manage symptoms and delay progression, but as yet, there is no cure.

The Government of Canada is committed to working with partners in support of research on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Under the leadership of the Canadian Institutes in Health Research, in partnership with 14 other organizations, the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging has brought together close to 350 researchers from across Canada and research funding organizations in seven provinces. These research partnerships are leading us to new opportunities for improved diagnosis, more effective treatments, new ways to improve quality of life, and are helping us learn what we can do to prevent dementia or delay its onset.

Small individual actions can speak volumes about showing one’s support for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. This January, I encourage all Canadians to take three minutes of their time, to learn about what life with dementia means, to register as a Dementia Friend and to translate this simple action into a commitment to improving the lives of those living with dementia.

The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.

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