December 20, 2017 (Calgary) – The NDP government hasn’t even come close to addressing the needs of Albertans struggling with dementia, says Alberta Party Caucus leader Greg Clark.

“The NDP plan is not good enough, and it’s not soon enough,” said Clark. “The need for a fully thought out, detailed plan to help people with dementia and their families and caregivers is overwhelming,” said Clark. “We have a developing crisis on our hands and Alberta is far behind other provinces. Ontario alone has committed $100 million to their dementia strategy, plus $20 million for respite care, while Alberta hasn’t even begun to address it.”

Clark called on the NDP to add significant new money to address the growing needs of people with dementia and their families.

“The NDs have just re-announced existing programs or continued existing programs. There no new money in their strategy.”

“At best it’s a plan to make a plan.”

“Albertans with dementia and their families have been let down by this government. The NDP strategy has few action items or plans in place, and lacks any detail on how they will achieve their outcomes,” said Clark. “Not to mention, the strategy’s outcomes and enablers should already be the standard Albertans see in dementia care, rather than a vague list of desired outcomes without any plan on how to get there, timelines or measures to know if it’s working.”

Clark identified four specific areas where the NDP’s plan falls short:

  • No commitment for new funding for respite care; this is crucial in providing caregivers with the capacity to provide ongoing care to people with dementia
  • -No commitment for new dementia beds; there is a significant unmet need today and number of people requiring specialized inpatient supports will grow exponentially in the coming years
  • No recognition of the importance of proper training for dementia navigation coordinators; dementia is complex and untrained health care providers will not help people with dementia access the services they need, which often ends up costing the system much more money
  • No real plan to address the shortcomings identified in training the broader workforce about dementia care; the strategy lists many changes that “should” be made, but there’s no firm plan in place

“The NDP have let Albertans down.  After months of promising an in depth, nuanced, and carefully planned dementia strategy, I expected better from the NDP.”

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For an interview please contact:

Natasha Soles

Director of Communications

Alberta Party Caucus

(780) 722-4733

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