PEI

P.E.I. dementia strategy 'well underway,' says Health Minister Doug Currie

Health and Wellness Minister Doug Currie responded to questions about the province’s long-awaited dementia strategy in the Legislature on Thursday, saying the province is committed to helping Islanders and their families affected by dementia.

Official Opposition, Alzheimer Society of PEI asked why the province hasn't released a plan

P.E.I. Health Minister Doug Currie says the province's dementia strategy is underway. (Canadian Press)

Health and Wellness Minister Doug Currie responded to questions about the province's long-awaited dementia strategy in the Legislature on Thursday.

"The framework for the dementia strategy is complete and the Department of Health and Wellness has received it and the work has been well underway," Currie told the House.

On Wednesday, Opposition House Leader James Aylward asked why the strategy hadn't been implemented. Alzheimer Society of PEI CEO Corrine Hendricken-Eldershaw said the steering committee which included the society submitted its work on the strategy to the province in 2011, but the province hasn't released it. 

Speaking in the Legislature on Thursday, Currie said the province has provided the society with nearly $125,000 to fund its First Link program, which helps individuals and families affected by Alzheimer's access support and education.

Health and Wellness Minister Doug Currie says the province is committed to helping Islanders and their families affected by dementia. (CBC)

He said the society has also received another $9,000 for various initiatives.

Hendricken-Eldershaw agrees those amounts have been received by the group but that they don't cover the full cost of the implementing the First Link program — and she still wants the strategy to be released to the public. 

She says her group has to fundraise to do its work and she would like to see a permanent commitment to funding First Link. 

Currie said the province's geriatric program has provided 1,444 consultations, which resulted in 534 Alzheimer diagnoses; expanded the seniors' mental health resource team; and increased home care spending by 78 per cent. 

"We are committed to working with key stakeholders as we continue to embrace the challenges of dementia and Alzheimer's with individuals and families and communities all across Prince Edward Island," said Currie.

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