Alzheimer Society of Canada
|Headquarters||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
The Alzheimer Society of Canada (ASC) is the leading nationwide health charity for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Active in communities right across Canada, the Society partners with Alzheimer Societies in every Canadian province to offer information, support and education programs for people with dementia, their families and caregivers. ASC funds research to find a cure and improve the care of people with dementia, promotes public education and awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and influences policy and decision-making to address the needs of people with dementia and their caregivers.
The Society’s vision is a world without Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
In 1978, the Alzheimer Society began as a Steering Group of researchers concerned about the lack of support for people with Alzheimer's disease. Their focus was family support, education and research.
In 1984 the Society was one of the eight founding members of Alzheimer's Disease International.
In 1989, the Alzheimer Society Research Program (ASRP) was launched, offering upcoming researchers as well as established ones an opportunity to receive grants to further their work.
The Society has appointed a person living with dementia to its board of directors since 2003.
In 2010 the Society released Rising Tide: the Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society, describing the health and economic burden of dementia in Canada over the next 30 years, and alerting the Canadian public and all levels of government to the need for policies and approaches to address the looming dementia crisis.
Starting with the release in 2011 of Guidelines for Care: Person-centred care of people with dementia living in care homes, ASC has led a multi-phased project to conduct studies and develop resources promoting the practice of person-centred care in all stages of the disease.
Programs and services
ASC acts as the national voice for the 747,000 Canadians living with dementia and advocates on their behalf for positive change. ASC funds young and established Canadian researchers working to find the causes and a cure.
Canadians looking for individual and family support are referred to local Societies for access to programs and services in their region.
MedicAlert® Safely Home® is a joint program of the Alzheimer Society and the Medic Alert Foundation to help people living with dementia who may go missing. The program provides a MedicAlert identification bracelet and a registry of information that helps first responders reconnect the person with family and get them safely home.
The Society offers First Link®,a program that connects people diagnosed with dementia to their local Alzheimer Society and other community resources as early in the disease process as possible.
Together with its partners, as of 2014 the Society has contributed over $43 Million to research in Canada, in the categories of Biomedical research into the causes, treatments, and an eventual cure for the disease, and Quality of Life research that leads to improvements in care.
Canadian dementia numbers
In 2011, there were 747,000 Canadians living with cognitive impairment including dementia – that’s 14.9% of Canadians 65 and older. By 2031, if nothing changes in Canada, this figure will increase to 1.4 million.
Alzheimer Awareness Month
Every January the Alzheimer Society launches a campaign to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and to reduce stigma.
Walk for Alzheimer’s
Walk for Alzheimer’s is Canada’s biggest fundraiser for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Monies raised support programs and services to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and their families, and support other activities like education and public awareness. Walks take place every year in 150 communities across Canada. In 2014, 24,000 walkers participated, raising $4.5 million.
Coffee Break is another Alzheimer Society 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 Society of Ontario, based in Ontario
- Alzheimer's disease
- Alzheimer's Society, based in the United Kingdom
- Alzheimer Disease International, based in the United Kingdom
- Alzheimer's Association, based in the United States
- National Institute on Aging, a division of the U.S. National Institutes of Health
- Journal of Alzheimer's Disease
- Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canada. The Alzheimer Society 2008: http://www.alzheimer.ca/en/Get-involved/Raise-your-voice/Rising-Tide
- Guidelines for Care: Person-centred care of people with dementia living in care homes: http://www.alzheimer.ca/en/Living-with-dementia/Caring-for-someone/Long-term-care/culture-change-person-centred-care
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