Abstract

Improving dementia care in Canada is a challenge to which we must rise. Dementia care strategies with a strong community focus are a key means of doing so. This paper outlines and expands upon the following five core areas that will contribute to the success of dementia care strategies: 1) the relationship between frailty and dementia is critical to understanding and addressing dementia risk and management; 2) social circumstances are important to formally consider, both as risk factors for adverse outcomes and as practical factors that contribute to care and support planning; 3) a dementia care strategy must span the continuum of care, which has important ramifications for our systems of primary, acute and long-term care; 4) prevention and public education are essential components of dementia care strategies; 5) research and evaluation are critically important to any dementia care strategy, and must be seen as core components as we strive to learn what works in dementia care. Given that a coordinated effort is needed, Canada needs to join other countries that have recognized dementia as a momentous challenge to national and global health. The time for a comprehensive national dementia care strategy is now.