FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | May 1, 2008
New Alzheimer’s Foundation for Caregiving in Canada is Established
Group is Sister Organization to Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
RICHMOND HILL, ONTARIO—As Canada braces for an escalating incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in the coming decades, a new nonprofit organization has emerged on the scene to provide care-related services to individuals with the brain disorder and their families, as well as highlight the importance of early diagnosis and intervention.
The Alzheimer’s Foundation for Caregiving in Canada, Inc. (AFCC) today announced its establishment as a national nonprofit organization with the mission of “providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families—through member organizations dedicated to improving quality of life.”
AFCC is a sister organization to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, a nonprofit organization based in New York that unites more than 800 member agencies in the United States and is the leading advocate for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. It marks AFA’s first counterpart organization outside the United States.
As one of its first major initiatives, AFCC will hold Canada’s inaugural National Memory Screening Day on November 18, offering free confidential screenings to those with memory concerns. Qualified healthcare professionals will administer the face-to-face screenings at convenient venues across Canada; screening results do not represent a diagnosis, but can indicate whether someone should pursue further evaluation.
The event patterns AFA’s National Memory Screening Day, which AFA has held annually in the United States since 2003. Last year, more than 40,000 people were screened at approximately 2,000 sites from coast to coast.
The announcement of AFCC’s formation coincides with the observance of Mother’s Day on May 11—a time when families celebrate their loved ones, but also when some may note warning signs of dementia, such as memory loss, confusion and decline in verbal skills.
Currently, an estimated 450,000 Canadians aged 65 and older have some form of dementia, including two-thirds with Alzheimer’s disease. Women represent two-thirds of those with the illness. This number is expected to increase to 778,000 by 2031.
“Our hope is that our new Canadian organization will ease the way for families facing this heartbreaking disease, giving them the critical support they need and the knowledge that they are not alone,” said Eric J. Hall, founding chief executive officer of both AFA and AFCC.
Hall also announced that AFCC’s first president is Taras W. Rohatyn, who brings a wealth of nonprofit, government and advocacy experience to the position. Previously, he led the Association for Persons with Physical Disabilities of Windsor and Essex County for 12 years.
“It is an exciting prospect to know that AFCC’s presence will be able to change lives in Canada,” Rohatyn said. “By collaborating with member organizations that provide direct services in their communities, we will meet the educational, practical and emotional needs of families head-on.”
For more information about the Alzheimer’s Foundation for Caregiving in Canada, visit www.alzfdn.ca
or call (Toll-Free Helpline) 1-877-321-2594.
Contact: Carol Steinberg