More Support for People Living with Dementia, and Their Families
Ontario Investing More Than $100 Million to Expand Dementia Care Through 2017 Budget
As part of the 2017 Budget, Ontario is improving access to high-quality care for people living with dementia and their care partners.
Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, and Dipika Damerla, Minister of Seniors Affairs, were at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto to highlight the new supports that are part of Ontario's dementia strategy. These include:
- Increasing access to adult day programs for people with dementia and additional hours of care and transportation to help people travel to their local program location.
- Enhancing caregiver respite services, both in-home or overnight, so that caregivers can schedule breaks for rest, family commitments or other priorities.
- Expanding behavioural supports, which are tools and techniques used to address behavioural symptoms of dementia, in all long-term care homes and providing similar support at home and in the community.
- Improving the coordination of care, including building strong partnerships between primary, specialist and community care providers that are critical to help people with dementia live well.
- Continuing to invest in health care providers' education with in-person, educational resources and public awareness about the signs and symptoms of dementia to support geriatric care.
- Raising awareness about dementia risk factors and reducing stigma through targeted public awareness campaigns to inform and educate people in Ontario about dementia and how to maintain a healthy brain.
Through the new dementia strategy, the province will ensure that everyone living with dementia in Ontario, their families and their care partners have the right supports, funding and tools in place to make informed decisions about their care and that they continue to be treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve.
Ontario is increasing access to care, reducing wait times and improving the patient experience through its Patients First Action Plan for Health Care and OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare - protecting health care today and into the future.
- Ontario is proposing to invest $100 million over three years towards the dementia strategy.
- There are approximately 175,000 people in Ontario living with dementia, with the number expected to grow as the population ages. It is estimated that 6.5 per cent are 66 years old and younger.
- These investments build on Ontario’s work to improve the lives of people living with dementia and their families, which includes annual funding for Behavioural Supports Ontario, supporting the Finding Your Way initiative that helps people living with dementia live more safely in their communities, and strengthening Alzheimer Society chapters across Ontario.
- The health care budget will total $53.8 billion in 2017-18 — a 3.8 per cent increase from the previous year.
- Ontario’s Dementia Strategy is part of Ontario's Patients First: Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care, which is the government's plan to improve and expand home and community care over three years.
- Ontario’s Dementia Strategy was informed by public consultations with thousands of people in Ontario, including people living with dementia and their care partners, health care providers and organizations sharing their views through in-person and online consultations.
- Through the 2017 budget, Ontario is also making it easier for people who care for loved ones, with more respite services that allow people to take a break from their unpaid duties, increased education and training opportunities for caregivers, and a new, streamlined Ontario Caregiver Tax Credit.
“Dementia affects the family as much as the person living with the disease. It is critical that we respond to the needs of both patient and caregiver. That’s why we’re making sure that we’re providing more care for people living with dementia while also looking after their caregivers.”
“This new strategy provides enhanced quality of care for patients with dementia, while also adding further supports for caregivers. This investment will help Ontario seniors to age safely and with dignity.”
“The Alzheimer Society of Ontario commends Premier Kathleen Wynne, Minister Charles Sousa and Minister Eric Hoskins for their commitment to invest more than $100 million over three years towards the implementation of a dementia strategy in Ontario as announced in the provincial budget. A fully funded and comprehensive dementia strategy will help ensure people living with dementia, their care partners and their families have access to the resources and services they need to live as well, and for as long as possible, at home and in the community.”
“As the population ages, it is imperative to transform and improve care for current and future generations. Anyone suffering from dementia needs timely access to health care professionals and comprehensive care that meets their individual needs and provides critical supports to their caregivers. This funding underscores the importance of the work we do at Baycrest to improve outcomes in these areas every day, and will go a long way to help strengthen the system of support for Ontarians.”