Alzheimer Society of Canada
|Headquarters||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Official language||English, French|
The Alzheimer Society of Canada identifies, develops and facilitates national priorities in order to enable its members to effectively alleviate the personal and social consequences of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and promotes research to search for a cure. It was founded in 1978 and is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Alzheimer Society is the largest nationwide health organization for people affected by dementia in Canada. The Society is a large funder of Alzheimer research and training, provides care and support to people with the disease, their families and their caregivers, and is active in advocacy with all levels of government. Active in more than 140 communities across Canada, the Society is also a key player in Alzheimer's Disease International, a leading organization in world wide efforts to fight dementia.
Currently, there are 500,000 Canadians living with dementia and within a generation, dementia may affect more than one million people across the country.
In 1978, the Alzheimer Society had its beginnings as a Steering Group of researchers concerned about the lack of support for people with Alzheimer's disease. Their focus on family support, education and research laid the foundation for an Alzheimer movement that has grown into a nationwide Society that helps hundreds of thousands of Canadians touched by dementia every year.
During its first decade, the society worked diligently to convince the public that dementia was an actual disease, and not just a normal part of aging. The society organized programs and services to dispel myths, and help caregivers and families learn more about the disease. Working toward even greater awareness, increased understanding and support for the disease, the society joined with the American Alzheimer's Association, as well as organizations in seven other countries, to be a founding member of Alzheimer's Disease International.
In the second decade, the Alzheimer Society Research Program was launched, offering young and upcoming researchers as well as established ones an opportunity to receive grants to further their work in hopes of finding a cure. Over 20 years, the program has awarded approximately $30 million to Alzheimer research. Canada has some of the leading researchers in the world working in biomedical research into the causes and a cure for the disease. Canadian researchers are also working to improve quality of life, including caregiving, family support and long-term care.
Further advancements were made during its third decade as the public showed more and more understanding of the disease. Treatments became available to help alleviate symptoms, allowing people with the disease to become active members of their local societies. This trend has continued as more and more people with the disease became spokespeople and volunteers. The Society has appointed a person with dementia to its board of directors since 2003.
Programs and services
The Alzheimer Society of Canada is dedicated to helping people affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias through supportive programming and educational resources. Services are available in every province across Canada and in over 140 local communities. These programs and services are highly important to people living with dementia, their families and caregivers.
The Society has been dedicated to providing help in many different ways, one of which is support and information to people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, families, physicians and other health-care providers.
Through its offices across Canada, the Alzheimer Society provides many programs and services to help people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias:
The Society refers people to support groups that provide a safe place to share information, thoughts, feelings and experiences. It also helps people find programs and services they need, such as day and respite programs, home support and help with the difficult transition to long-term care. It offers a wide range of information in print, videos and audiotapes on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias including warning signs, diagnosis and treatment, caregiving, risk factors, research and other related topics. The Society provides resources designed specifically for the person with the disease, as well as materials for family and health-care professionals. The Society holds informational meetings and workshops organized by different locations across Canada. The Society has programs like the Safely Home Registry to help save lives by making it easier for the police to find a person with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia who has become lost, and return them safely home. Over 30,000 Canadians are registered with the Society’s Safely Home program. The Society offers First Link, another critical program in some provinces that connects people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia to their local Alzheimer Society and other community resources as early in the disease process as possible.
The Alzheimer Society is a leading source of funds for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias research in Canada. Together with its partners, the Society has contributed approximately $30 million to research in Canada since the inception of its research program 20 years ago. In 2008, the Society and its partners funded 27 new grants and training awards, amounting to over $2 million to speed up the search for the causes and cure of Alzheimer’s disease, and improve the lives of those affected.
Committed to supporting research into all aspects of Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer Society provides grants and training awards that fund research at Canadian universities and hospitals and help nurture new talent. Canadian researchers supported by the Alzheimer Society have made major advances, including discoveries related to genetic causes of the disease. The Society places equal importance on biomedical research that provides insights into Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and on quality of life research that leads to improvements in care.
Canadian Alzheimer facts
In January 2009, the Alzheimer Society of Canada released sobering new statistics on the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in Canada. Today, half a million Canadians have Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia with 71,000 of them under age 65. Women represent 72 per cent of all Alzheimer's disease cases. Fifty per cent more Canadians and their families could be facing Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia in just five years. If nothing changes, over one million Canadians will have Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia within 25 years.
Coffee Break is the Alzheimer Society's major nationwide annual fundraiser where friends, co-workers and customers gather in communities across Canada to raise funds for local Alzheimer Societies. Participants at these events make a donation in exchange for a cup of coffee. The money raised stays in that province or community to help support local programs and services.
Alzheimer Awareness Month
Every January the Alzheimer Society launches a campaign to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and to reduce stigma.
In January 2010, the Alzheimer Society will release a pivotal study on the current state of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in Canada. Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canada will, for the first time since 1991, provide new startling information on the growing economic impact of dementia in Canada.
The Alzheimer Society of Canada hosted the 2011 Alzheimer's Disease International Conference in Toronto, March 26–29, 2011.
- Alzheimer's disease
- Alzheimer's Association, based in the United States
- Alzheimer Disease International, based in the United Kingdom
- Alzheimer's Society, based in the United Kingdom
- National Institute on Aging, a division of the U.S. National Institutes of Health
- Journal of Alzheimer's Disease
- Alzheimer Society of Ontario, based in Ontario
- Alzheimer Society of Toronto, based in Toronto
- Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canada. The Alzheimer Society 2008.
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