Members of an advisory committee have been chosen to help develop the province’s first comprehensive strategy for people with dementia and their families. The members include a Nova Scotian who is living with dementia, a family caregiver, service providers, and health-care professionals. “This is an important step towards our goal to enhance delivery of dementia care and treatment in this province,” said Health and Wellness minister Leo Glavine. “The dementia strategy will make the best use of support for those living with dementia, as well as their families and caregivers.” Lloyd Brown, executive director of the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia, and Ruby Knowles, executive director of Continuing Care at the Department of Health and Wellness, are the committee co-chairs. Other committee members named today are: Dr. Melissa Andrew, geriatrician, QEII Health Sciences Centre, Halifax Angus Campbell, executive director, Caregivers Nova Scotia Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy, clinical academic director, Geriatric Psychiatry and Seniors Mental Health Program, QEII Health Sciences Centre Janice Chalmers, registered nurse, Northwood Home Care, Halifax Krista Connell, CEO, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation Sharon Davis-Murdoch, special advisor on Diversity and Social Inclusion, Department of Health and Wellness Heather Fifield, member at large Rev. Faye Forbes, member at large who is living with dementia Patricia Harrington, manager, Continuing Care, Cumberland Health Authority Lorna MacPherson, director, Services for Persons with Disabilities, Department of Community Services Brenda Nicholson, director of resident care, Alderwood Nursing Home, Baddeck Tony Prime, co-ordinator, Adult Mental Health, Mental Health, Children’s Services and Addictions, Department of Health and Wellness Dr. Celina White, chair, Nova Scotia Physician Recruitment and Retention Action Team, Amherst Faizal Nanji, Department of Seniors Bill VanGorder, Group of IX “We’re off to a great start,” said Mr. Brown. “With the advisory committee in place, we are well-positioned to produce a meaningful strategy that will support persons with the disease and their care-givers.” The dementia strategy, which was announced in January, aims to improve timely access to services, provide support for caregivers, and ensure people affected by dementia can remain independent for as long as possible. Nova Scotia has the oldest population per capita in the country. Each month, about 1,000 Nova Scotians turn 65. As of July 1, 2013, Statistics Canada reports 166,519 Nova Scotians or 17.7 per cent of the province’s total population are 65 or older. The provincial dementia strategy will be delivered to the minister next spring.