Individuals with dementia, their families, physicians and care providers now have new resources to help them better understand and manage the disease and provide a better quality of life for British Columbians affected by dementia.
"Our government is committed to improving care for those with dementia," said Minister of State for Seniors Ralph Sultan. "Between 60,000 and 70,000 British Columbians have dementia, and we know this number will only continue to grow as our population grows and ages, so we are working hard to provide the support needed to allow those with dementia to remain in their homes and to provide families with the tools they need to keep loved ones at home."
New guidelines for improved dementia care are now available online at: www.health.gov.bc.ca/library/publications/year/2012/bpsd-guideline.pdf
These guidelines are based on national, evidence-based, best practices and provide added support for physicians, nurses and care providers in decision-making for persons with dementia. From assessment, to problem solving and care planning, these guidelines promote the delivery of person-centred care for those with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.
New information has also been added to the HealthLink BC website to help individuals with dementia and their families better understand and live with dementia, including information about the Alzheimer Society's First Link program. By participating in First Link, those with dementia, their families and caregivers can receive customized information and access to helpful programs and services.
Delivering these new guidelines for care providers and information on dementia for individuals and families are elements of the B.C. government's Seniors Action Plan that was released Feb. 14, 2012.
These resources are also part of the B.C. government's Provincial Dementia Action Plan, which outlines collaborative actions that can be taken by individuals, health professionals, health authorities, and organizations to plan and provide person-centred care for those with dementia. The plan can be found online at: www.health.gov.bc.ca/library/publications/year/2012/dementia-action-plan.pdf
"Improvements in care can make a positive impact on those with dementia and their families," said Jean Blake, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of B.C. "These are proactive steps that can help improve the way care is delivered and better support those with dementia and their families."
Improving services for those with dementia is a key component of BC's Family Agenda. Government invites input from British Columbians on how to best support families dealing with dementia. To share your ideas, visit: www.familiesfirstbc.ca
For more information about dementia, visit HealthLink BC at: www.healthlinkbc.ca/kb/content/major/uf4984.html
and the Alzheimer Society of British Columbia at: www.alzheimerbc.org
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)