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Ottawa urged to improve dementia and Alzheimer's strategy

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It’s a disease on the rise, and there are now calls nationally for more of a focus on dementia, coming only days after a North Vancouver senior’s death.

The federal government is being urged to come up with a better plan.

NDP MP Libby Davies says people are worried about what will happen to them as they get older. “It’s basically a time bomb waiting to go off in terms of how it’s going to impact the next generation, and we just don’t have a timeline, a strategy, a plan in Canada to deal with it.”

Canada is attending a G8 Dementia Summit tomorrow, but Davies says our country is trailing others.

“There are many other countries that have much better systems and resources to respond to Alzheimer’s and dementia. In Canada, we don’t have that yet,” she adds.

The coroner’s service and health inspectors are among the groups currently reviewing the death of Joan Warren, whose body was found after she wandered from a seniors home in North Vancouver.

There may be as many as 70,000 people living with dementia in BC alone.

Premier Christy Clark say she supports calls for specialized care for people living with dementia.

Clark says more beds, more room in hospitals, and more attention are all things that are part of the province’s Dementia Action Plan. “Including the families have more support to be able to work with family members who are suffering from it; making sure that people in the early stages of dementia have the advice and support they needs.”

Clark says they are working with health authorities to build-in more space for those patients who need to be able to walk around as part of living with the disease.

She says it’s costly but it’s worth it.