Dementia in Ontario

Alzheimer’s disease is not an illness we can ignore. It has an overwhelming impact on the people who develop it, and the families who care for them.

Dementia by the Numbers

  • Prevalence now – 181,000 people
  • Prevalence in 2020 – 225,000 people
  • % increase in prevalence – 40% in 10 years
  • Hours of caregiving now – 87.1 million hours per year
  • Hours of caregiving in 2020 – 144 million hours per year (65% increase in 10 years)
  • Stress levels of caregivers – 23% higher than caregivers of those without dementia
  • Number of people in long-term care with dementia – over 42,000 (70% of total)
  • Number of Personal Support Workers in Ontario – 100,000
  • Number of geriatricians in Ontario – 106
  • Percent of Community Care Access Centre clients – 16% 

People with dementia receive 75% more informal care and 45% more formal care services than homecare recipients without dementia.

Today, 181,000 Ontarians have dementia, Dementia prevalence in Local Health Integration Networks (LHINS) a number that is expected to rise 40% to 255,000 by 2020, ten short years away.

The annual total economic burden (including direct, indirect and opportunity costs) of dementia in Ontario is expected to increase by more than $770 million per year through 2020. *Costs include the direct costs of health care services, the opportunity costs of caregiving’s impact on the ability to work, and the indirect costs of lost productivity and lost wages.

Today, families and friends spend 87.1 million unpaid hours caring for people with dementia. By 2020, they’ll be offering 144 million hours, an increase of 65%.

All LHINS show an increase in dementia prevalence, ranging from 13% to a compelling 42% spike.

Stakeholders speak

In November 2009, the Alzheimer Society asked Ontarians with dementia, their caregivers and professional service providers about dementia services in Ontario. Here’s what they said:

  • 93% believe that the range of care and support services in Ontario needs to be improved.
  • They rank early diagnosis as the greatest benefit to people with dementia and caregivers.
  • 62% name direct payments and tax credits as the most effective way to ease the financial burden of caregiving.
  • 75% rank access to specialists and collaboration between healthcare practitioners as having the greatest impact on people with dementia.