The numbers are staggering: 564,000 people in Canada have dementia, according to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, with 78,600 new cases diagnosed annually, according to a national dementia strategy released by Health Canada in 2019. And Canada is heading toward a dementia crisis, says neuropsychologist Mauricio Garcia-Barrera in this recent article from the Globe & Mail.
The dementia crisis we are barreling towards is due to the growing number of Canadians aged 65 and older. That said, modifying your lifestyle can impact your risk level. There are a number of changes you can make starting immediately that can reduce the chances you will develop dementia. For example, avoiding smoking and cutting out excessive alcohol consumption both contribute to lowering your risk.
In fact, it’s estimated that 40 percent of dementia cases result from lifestyle factors we can modify. And preventing dementia from developing is the top priority in Health Canada’s dementia strategy. When you look at it from a financial standpoint, in a decade, that is by 2031, the total healthcare costs and caregiver costs of dementia in this country are projected to reach $16.6 billion annually.
For more insight into the dementia crisis, and how we can plan financially for health concerns like dementia, and what lifestyle habits you can modify to reduce your risk, get the full article here.