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Online petition supports National Dementia Strategy

For 747,000 Canadians and their families, the heartbreak of Alzheimers and related dementias is a daily reality.

There is a new online petition to support a national dementia strategy. Claude Gravelle, MP Nickel Belt, will be sharing the signatures with Health Minister Rona Ambrose. The petition is here: http://petition.ndp.ca/dementia
He is presenting a private members’ bill C-356 An Act for a National Dementia Strategy, that is to be up for debate in February.

“Canada is one of the few G8 countries without a national dementia strategy. The recent government announcement on a national strategy is in fact a research plan only,” said Gravelle. “Research is important but C-356 will mandate Ottawa, working with the provinces and territories and stakeholders, to create a truly national strategy by:
•· Increasing funding for research into all aspects of dementia
•· Promoting earlier diagnosis and intervention
•· Strengthening the integration of primary, home and community care
•· Enhancing skills and training of the dementia workforce
•· Recognizing the needs and improving supports for caregivers”

Dr. Chris Alexander, president of the Canadian Medical Association, has recently linked dementia to the crisis in acute care beds in Canada, i.e. that an estimated third of all acute beds are occupied by people suffering from dementia. With proper leadership from Ottawa through a national strategy, many could be in their homes or in other places of care, with more dementia-friendly and properly resourced communities.

Gravelle says that given the Conservative majority government, C-356 will pass with the support of enough Conservative MPs. He notes it will be the one time before the federal election in October, 2015 for MPs and their parties to go on the record in support of a national dementia strategy. C-356 will lay the foundation for action after that election.

“January through April is a crucial period for advocacy work. (The debate and votes happen in February and March, followed possibly by further committee study and parliament votes.) January is Alzheimer’s Month in Canada. MPs are home in their ridings before the resumption of Parliament Jan. 26. This is a very good time to contact your MPs, especially Conservative MPs in and near your community, to urge them to support C-356. February and March when MPs are in Ottawa are also good times to contact MPs.

“Alzheimer’s and related dementia diseases are non-partisan. They damage our partners, parents, siblings, friends, neighbours and work colleagues. We need an all party solution for a national dementia strategy.”

There are easy things that you can do to support the National Dementia Strategy:

Sign the online petition: http://petition.ndp.ca/dementia

Write or email the Prime Minister and Health Minister. (Click here for a sample letter)
pm@pm.gc.ca
Rona.Ambrose@parl.gc.ca.

Prince Edward County residents and friends are also invited to support the local Alzheimer Society’s Walk for Memories. Click for details.
For services and information in Prince Edward County:

ALZPEChttp://www.alzheimer.ca/pec
Alzheimer Society of Prince Edward County
90 King Street,
Corner of King & Paul
Picton, ON K0K 2T0

Tel: (613 )476-2085
Fax: (613) 476-1537
E-mail: linda.steacy@alzheimerhpe.ca

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