Dementia is a progressive and degenerative condition that robs an individual, over the course of many years, of the ability to live and function independently.
Persons affected by dementia can continue to live independently for some time; however, as their condition progresses, they require increasing levels of care. In the last stage of dementia, individuals lose the ability to convey when they are in pain, as well as to walk, talk, chew and even swallow.
The toll dementia takes on Canada’s population and its economy will double over the next 15 years as the country’s aging population grows and the costs associated with supporting them increase.
It was within this context that the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology undertook a study to determine the actions that should be taken to most effectively and efficiently meet the challenge of the disease and its treatment.