ARCH-hands-old-woman-hourglass covered Alzheimer Society of Canada CEO Mimi Lowi-Young’s speech to the Economic Club of Canada Sept. 20.

Read: Dementia to cost Canada $300B

Lowi-Young says Alzheimer’s is the most expensive illness in Canada and is calling for a National Dementia Strategy.

She isn’t the only person worried about the $300-billion toll the disease will take on Canada’s economy in 2040.

Parliamentarian Claude Gravelle wrote to say he’s also pushing for a strategy:

Thank you for shining a light on the “most expensive illness in Canada,” dementia, and the need for a national plan.

National leadership is absolutely essential.  I have introduced a bill for a national dementia strategy that will involve all three levels of government, with federal leadership. There is information and petitions for sending to Parliament here.

I also urge individuals and groups representing seniors, caregivers and healthcare practitioners to visit their Members of Parliament in support of a national dementia strategy. This is really a non-partisan issue that touches all of us.

We face a monumental health crisis with dementia – 750,000 patients now, a number expected to double in a generation. Today, the combined direct (medical) and indirect (lost earnings) costs of dementia total $33 billion per year. By 2040, this figure will skyrocket to  $293 billion a year.

My bill supports The Alzheimer Society’s call for a national dementia plan to help reduce the burden of dementia and to support more people with the disease across Canada. We need to focus on more research, earlier diagnosis and intervention, helping caregivers and strengthening the integration of primary, home and community care.

Canada needs a dementia strategy – now.

Claude Gravelle

NDP MP Nickel Belt

Originally published on

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