Dementia refers to a large class of disorders characterized by the progressive deterioration of thinking ability and memory. Symptoms may include loss of memory, judgment and reasoning, changes in mood, behaviour and the ability to communicate. These symptoms may affect a person’s ability to function at work, in social relationships, or in the usual activities of daily living.
It is estimated that close to 228,000 Ontarians are currently living with dementia, and this number is expected to increase. By 2038, it is forecasted that over 430,000 Ontarians will have dementia (Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Discussion Paper, 2016).
Dementia has a profound life-changing impact - not only on the person living with dementia, but also on their family, friends and caregivers. Caregivers play a vital role in helping a person living with dementia to live safely at home, coordinate their care, and navigate the health care system.
There are programs and services available to help support individuals with dementia or their caregivers. Here's a sample of programs:
- Alzheimer Society York Region First Link program supports patient navigation services.
- Adult Day Programs across over 20 community support service agencies.
- Respite Care
- Transportation Supports – iRide transportation service helps people get to ADP or overnight program.
- Geriatric Emergency Management (GEM) nurses in hospitals are trained on the specific medical and social needs of complex frail seniors including individuals with delirium, dementia or depression.
- Behavioural Supports Ontarioin long-term care homes.
- Caregiver Support Framework developed in collaboration with over 850 caregivers and health service providers.
- Local working group contributions to the Central LHIN Dementia Planning Report.