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What is Dementia Network Calgary?

Dementia Network Calgary is a growing group of knowledgeable, capable, and passionate individuals from across public, private and nonprofit sectors in Calgary and area with an interest in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

This group is working together towards achieving the following strategic goal: The Calgary community is a supportive, innovative environment where people impacted by dementia can live life well.

Who is a part of Dementia Network Calgary?

Dementia Network Calgary spans the traditional boundaries of sector and discipline, and intentionally cultivates collaboration across multiple sectors. Today, Dementia Network Calgary includes representatives from the following stakeholder groups:

  • Families/ care partners;                      
  • Private and public home care facilities;
  • Non-profit service providers;
  • Community organizations;
  • Health services;
  • Post-secondary institutions; and
  • Government.

Why does Dementia Network Calgary exist?

The lifetime risk of dementia is 1 in 4 for women and 1 in 6 for men. More than 12,000 Calgarians (about 10% of our seniors) live with dementia and 8 more will develop it today (2,800 this year). For every person who is diagnosed with dementia, 10 to 12 additional individuals are also affected by the diagnosis.

Even more concerning is the fact that these numbers are expected to double within the next 20 years. As a growing social and systemic issue, dementia has the potential to overwhelm families, communities, workforces and our healthcare systems in Calgary. 

What approach is Dementia Network Calgary taking to achieve its strategic goal?

Collective Impact

  • Dementia Network Calgary is taking a collective impact approach to achieving its strategic goal. Collective impact was popularized in a 2011 article written by John Kania and Mark Kramer, published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. In this article, Kania and Kramer define collective impact as “the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem”. Learn more here.

Strategy Roadmap

  • Through a series of facilitated workshops and a community open house, Dementia Network Calgary co-created a Strategy Roadmap that illustrates the pathways to achieving the shared strategic goal. Learn more here.

Who is funding this work?

Thank you to the following organizations that have generously provided funding: United Way of Calgary and Area, Calgary Foundation, the Flames Foundation for Life, and Alzheimer Society of Calgary. This support enables Dementia Network Calgary to continue its work on behalf of people impacted by dementia.

Alzheimer Society of Calgary also acts as the Backbone organization for Dementia Network Calgary. As the Backbone organization, Alzheimer Society of Calgary plays a coordinating and organizing role in support of Dementia Network Calgary's efforts to achieve its strategic goal.

How can I get in touch?

To contact Dementia Network Calgary, head to our Contact page here, and submit the form. Someone will respond to you within 48 hours.

How can I get involved?

To get involved with Dementia Network Calgary, head to our Get Involved page here, and subscribe to our e-newsletter and/ or share your thoughts with us.

What action is underway?

Action Teams have been developed around each of the following areas:

Advocacy

  • The Advocacy Action Team is currently working towards the following outcome: Community and political leadership is engaged and actively advocating for enhanced dementia care and investment.
  • This team will be reaching out and building relationships with key stakeholders. In the future, this team will collaborate with other Action Teams for relevant advocacy pieces.

Awareness

  • The Awareness Action Team is currently working towards the following outcome: The stigma and denial associated with dementia has been eliminated.
  • This team is planning a public awareness campaign focused on 1) social isolation and inclusion and 2) identification and recognition of dementia.

Community Living

  • The Community Living Action Team is currently working towards the following outcome: People impacted by dementia have the housing and supports to remain in their own communities longer, as desired.
  • This team's focus is on better understanding the accommodation-related needs of people living with dementia and the corresponding range and supply of options available (or lacking) in Calgary and Area with a focus on the “greater independence” end of the continuum (living outside of a medicalized setting).

Coordinated Pathways

  • The Coordinated Pathways Action Team is currently working towards the following outcome: All components of the system have learned how to collaborate and deliver seamless, integrated services with ease.
  • This team is creating a Dementia Resources Care and Support Guide for people impacted by dementia to help them through any stage of dementia. It will include wide variety of information, as well as suggestions about where they might be able to get more support if needed.

Dementia Care Workforce

  • The Dementia Care Workforce Action Team is currently working towards the following outcome: The dementia care workforce is reflective of, and responsive to, the changing needs of people with dementia and their care partners.
  • This team is in the process of writing a systematic literature review of effective educational strategies for the dementia care workforce.