Dementia ranks as Ontarians’ top concern as they age

When it comes to aging, 67 per cent of Ontarians say dementia or cognitive decline is a top concern according to a new online poll from CARP and the Alzheimer Society of Ontario.

Conducted in May, the poll asked 1,000 CARP members (generally aged 50 and older), with and without a connection to the condition, about their concerns as they age and whether they feel there are adequate social and health-care resources in place to meet the needs of Ontarians living with dementia and their care partners.

In fact, an overwhelming 97 per cent of participants say it’s important for the government to invest in a provincial dementia strategy to tackle the increasing challenges faced by Ontarians with dementia and their families. In just two short years, more than a quarter of a million Ontarians will be have some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. And while dementia is not a natural part of aging, the risk factor doubles every five years after 65.

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“Based on these findings, it’s clear that our CARP members and Ontarians in general view dementia as an urgent issue,” says Laura Tamblyn Watts, National Director of Law, Policy and Research at CARP. “That’s why we’re committed to working with the provincial government, with our partners like the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, and with all Ontarians to ensure the dementia strategy is fully funded to address the needs of Ontarians impacted by this condition.”

Survey results show that families impacted by dementia need more support.  Less than 20 per cent of respondents who were diagnosed with dementia or caring for someone with the condition felt they were getting the support they need.

Access to services, care and support also ranked high among respondents’ concerns:

  • Over 99 per cent think it’s important for people impacted by dementia to have help connecting to information, care and services
  • More than 99 per cent think that adult day programs, in-home care and other respite options for care partners is important

“Our poll validates what we already know, that our province is not prepared to deal with the increasing impact of dementia on our friends, families and communities.  These results will help inform investment into dementia care and supports in Ontario to help people with dementia and their care partners live the best quality of life possible.  We need a dementia strategy that is sustainable for the long term,” says Lisa Salapatek, Chief Program Officer at the Alzheimer Society of Ontario.

To read or download the complete results, please click here.