The City of Vernon is demanding action to address the growing number of individuals coping with Alzheimer’s disease.
On Monday, council called on all levels of government and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to adopt a dementia strategy.
“We want to see some sort of plan in place to deal with this disease,” said Coun. Catherine Lord.
“The stress on the caregiver is huge and until you go through it, people don’t realize that.”
Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia currently impact about 500,000 Canadians and that’s expected to grow to 1.1 million people within a generation.
It’s also believed that three million Canadians face the challenges of providing care for those suffering from the disease.
The city’s motion is in support of Ontario MP Claude Gravelle, who has introduced a bill in Parliament seeking a national strategy for dementia. It would include the development of strategies in primary health care, health promotion, caregiver support and research.
“This disease is becoming more prevalent as our population ages, and we need a plan to deal with this so that we all share in the caregiving and give some relief to the immediate family whose lives are greatly impacted,” said Lord.
As a retired physician, Mayor Rob Sawatzky supports any efforts to expand support for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia as well as their caregivers.
“It’s these kind of chronic diseases that have a big toll on individuals, families and communities,” he said.