Improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and caregivers.
There are many aspects to improving quality of life for people living with dementia and caregivers. Aspirations for this objective include eliminating stigma; timely and compassionate diagnosis that comes with access to supports; care that is tailored to the needs of everyone; care providers that are well-trained and have access to the resources they need to provide quality care, and resources for caregivers to help protect their own wellbeing and to provide them with supports that will assist their efforts to care for those living with dementia.
Initiatives that support this broad objective touch on areas such as access to diagnostic tools and quality health care provided by a skilled and knowledgeable workforce, community-based services and supports, actions to reduce stigma, and work to share and scale up efforts to make communities more dementia-inclusive. These are activities that make a significant difference every day in the lives of people living with dementia and caregivers. Whether it is improving the experiences in the health care system of people living with dementia, supporting life at home, or making it easier to stay engaged, active and express preferences, these initiatives support living in a way that creates quality of life.
The 2020 public opinion survey found that about one-fifth of respondents did not know enough to share their views when it comes to access to health care and the quality of health care in their communities, perhaps due to a lack of experience. Most respondents (70%) rated access to care for people living with dementia as moderate to excellent in their communities, with 66% rating the quality of that care from moderate to excellent. There are countless other efforts being made across Canada to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and caregivers by a wide cross-section of organizations.
Efforts Across Canada
Staying active and engaged and supporting inclusion.
• The Dementia-Inclusive Choices for Exercise initiative aims to increase accessible exercise opportunities by developing dementia-specific evidence-based tools and training for exercise providers (pilots in Kitchener-Waterloo, Halifax and northern British Columbia).
• Voices in Motion and NoteWorthy Singers are intergenerational choirs for people living with dementia, caregivers, friends and students in Victoria and Vancouver, helping to create a more dementia-inclusive community.
• Research is using the lenses of shared decision-making, feminist care ethics and social citizenship to look at how people living with dementia could become more active collaborators in shaping
End-Of-Life Decision-Making (University of British Columbia).
• The Volunteer Companion Program in Prince Edward Island is a one-on-one home visiting program for people living with dementia and their caregivers who are at risk of social isolation.
• Cracked: new light on dementia is research-informed theatre production and film seen across and outside Canada that is focused on the challenges of stigma; work is underway to develop an interactive web-based learning platform.
• The Supporting Inclusion through Intergenerational Partnerships Collective Impact initiative promotes the social inclusion of seniors with mild to moderate dementia and caregivers by creating opportunities to engage with youth (Waterloo, Ontario).
The Alzheimer Society of Canada’s nationwide anti-stigma campaign, “Yes. I live with dementia. Let me help you understand”. highlights the diverse lived experience of Canadians living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia to address misconceptions and reduce stigma.