Nova Scotia Dementia Strategy

The long awaited Dementia Strategy has just been released by the Nova Scotia government. It is a multi-pronged approach, with three key priority areas:

  1. Facilitate early diagnosis, treatment, care and support
  2. Coordinate care and supports across the system
  3. Enhance awareness and understanding about dementia

Within each of these areas, the strategy lays out a plan for action to take place over the next three years, and includes such things as improving education for both home caregivers and professionals, developing an integrated approach to dementia care across health care disciplines and strengthening early diagnosis.

A summary of the priority areas can be found here.

The short term goals of the plan can be summarized as:

  1. Improving the ability of primary health care to diagnose, support and manage patients with dementia
  2. Increase the collaboration between care professionals to provide coordinated care
  3. Increasing knowledge of dementia leading to earlier diagnosis and better outcomes
  4. Increasing knowledge of dementia best care practices among both professionals and home caregivers

Over the longer term, the plan is to continue working towards the goals above resulting in timely diagnosis and appropriate care for people with dementia through early diagnosis and coordinated care from all involved parties resulting in a better quality of life for persons living with dementia, their families and their caregivers.

A diagram showing the planned actions and outcomes can be found here.

The development of this strategy has been in the works for quite some time and we're happy to see its release. It is a comprehensive plan that deals with a wide range of issues affecting people with dementia and their caregivers. We hope to play a role in implementing the strategy by continuing to provide education and materials to health care professionals.

In our experience training over 300 health care professionals in Atlantic Canada, we have found that they are enthusiastic to learn as much as they can and have a real desire to improve the care they offer. From our experience we feel that if appropriate training is made available along with the necessary funding, the education outcomes of the strategy can be met.