Addressing the needs of rural and remote people in a national dementia strategy for Canada

  • Juanita BacsuEmail author
  • Nuelle Novik
  • Shanthi Johnson
  • Marc Viger
  • Thomas McIntosh
  • Bonnie Jeffery
  • Nazeem Muhajarine
  • Paul Hackett


A number of organizations such as the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences have identified the growing need for a National Dementia Strategy in Canada to improve the quality of life for people with dementia. This commentary highlights the necessity of addressing stigma, social inclusion, and supports for people affected by dementia, specifically those living in rural and remote communities. Drawing on Saskatchewan-based examples, we discuss the importance of recognizing the unique needs of rural and remote communities in developing a National Dementia Strategy for Canada. We believe that a national strategy needs to be built from the ground up and not imposed from the top down. Only through the development of evidence-informed research and collaborative partnerships can we ensure that there is equitable access to services and supports for people with dementia in rural and remote communities.


Dementia Rural Remote Older adults 


Des organismes comme l’Académie canadienne des sciences de la santé ont défini le besoin croissant d’une stratégie nationale sur la démence au Canada pour améliorer la qualité de vie des personnes qui en sont atteintes. Dans ce commentaire, nous soulignons la nécessité d’aborder la stigmatisation, l’inclusion sociale et les mesures de soutien aux personnes touchées par la démence, surtout en milieu rural et éloigné. En citant des exemples de la Saskatchewan, nous expliquons l’importance de reconnaître les besoins particuliers des milieux ruraux et éloignés dans l’élaboration d’une stratégie nationale sur la démence pour le Canada. Nous considérons qu’une stratégie nationale doit se construire à partir de la base et non du sommet. Ce n’est qu’en menant des études éclairées par les données probantes et en formant des partenariats de collaboration que nous garantirons un accès équitable aux services et aux mesures de soutien pour les personnes atteintes de démence en milieu rural et éloigné.


Démence Milieu rural Milieu éloigné Personne âgée 



This work was supported by the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Kinesiology and Health StudiesUniversity of ReginaReginaCanada
  2. 2.Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU)University of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of Social Work, SPHERUUniversity of ReginaReginaCanada
  4. 4.School of Public Health, Edmonton Clinic Health AcademyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  5. 5.SPHERUUniversity of ReginaReginaCanada
  6. 6.Department of Family Medicine, SPHERU, Blairmore Medical ClinicUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  7. 7.Politics and International Studies, SPHERUUniversity of ReginaReginaCanada
  8. 8.Faculty of Social Work, SPHERUUniversity of ReginaPrince AlbertCanada
  9. 9.Community Health and Epidemiology, SPHERUUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  10. 10.Department of Geography, SPHERUUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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