DOI: 10.1002/alz.077422 ISSN: 1552-5260

Advocating for Change: Lessons Learned from Ontario’s Quest for a Renewed Dementia Strategy

Kyle Fitzgerald, Shawn Paron
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Health Policy
  • Epidemiology


Dementia has been labelled a public health priority by the WHO; with prevalence expected to triple over the next 30 years, urgent, whole‐of‐government action is needed to prepare for unprecedented strains on our health, home, and long‐term care systems. This session will focus on the experiences of Ontario, Canada’s largest province, detailing how government, private, and not‐for‐profit stakeholders can collaborate to influence policy.

The effectiveness of policy networks as a tool to create policy change, specifically in the dementia space, will be examined using Ontario as an example. Learning outcomes will include a better understanding of how public institutions make decisions, what guides a policy agenda and how to influence such, how to create a sense of urgency, defining ageing as a problem worthy of public consideration, and evaluating the success of advocacy efforts. Participants will be encouraged to consider networks they can join and/or form in their respective jurisdictions, and how they can contribute personally and/or professionally to advocacy efforts.

Examples of successful advocacy initiatives in Ontario will be examined. These include public campaigns leading up to and during the 2022 Ontario general election; the Roadmap Towards a Renewed Ontario Dementia Strategy (; and the Ontario Dementia Care Alliance (‐action/policy‐advocacy/ontario‐dementia‐care‐alliance).

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