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Dealing with dementia

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Every year, the Region sets aside $348 million to run 39 personal care home facilities that provide care for about 5,900 residents. Nearly 80 per cent of these residents will have mild to severe cognitive impairment, with the vast majority of them having some form of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.

It's a sizeable cost today, one that will increase substantially in the future.

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"If you look at population demographics, 2021 is predicted to be a key year when we're going to see a significant portion of the population over the age of 65," says Joe Puchniak, Manager of RAI/MDS and Decision Support for the Winnipeg Health Region's Personal Care Home Program. "Even if there's no increase in the proportion of the population that get dementia, the number of people who are in that age group will increase and there will be an influx in the long-term care system of people that need help."

As these numbers increase, so too will the need to effectively manage resources to support care of individuals with dementia. Using information such as the Minimal Data Set (MDS) will play a pivotal role in ensuring the most efficient and best care possible.

Here are some other numbers to consider:

500,000

Number of Canadians diagnosed with an illness that causes dementia.

103,700

Number of Canadians diagnosed each year with dementia. That amounts to one person every five minutes. By 2038, the number is expected to be one person every two minutes or 257,800 new cases per year.

18,808

Number of Manitobans who have Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia. About 2,426 of them are under age 65.*

15

Amount in billions of dollars Canada's health-care system spends to provide care for people suffering from dementia. The cost is expected to more than double by 2018 to $37 billion, and it is forecast to soar to $153 billion by 2038 when an estimated 1.1 million Canadians will have a dementiarelated disease.

Sources: Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society, 2010, Alzheimer Society of Canada; *Alzheimer Society of Manitoba


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