The Rural Dementia Care Website was initially created to support the research initiatives of members of a New Emerging Team grant (2003-2009) funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). New funding through an Applied Chair in Health Services and Policy Research (2009-2014) from CIHR and the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation has allowed the research team at the University of Saskatchewan to build on the momentum gained during the previous five years. A growing area of need in the current health care system, Rural Dementia Care is demanding the attention of health care providers, researchers, and policy makers.
Research by the Rural Dementia Care (RDC) Team is inspired by the needs of Saskatchewan's aging population:
- The province of Saskatchewan is home to the largest proportional population of seniors, a number that is growing across Canada.
- Prevalence of dementia among this aging population will continue to increase, according to the Rising Tide Report.
- Seniors in Saskatchewan are much more likely to live in rural areas and face multiple disparities in access to health care services.
- There is a growing need for more research into new approaches for delivering services to rural and northern communities.
We are guided by these strategies for care:
- The members of the RDC Team are facing the challenge to improve the delivery of rural dementia care across the continuum: from early detection and diagnosis to end of life care.
- Early diagnosis and treatment have proven to be key components in alleviating stress, providing direction for treatment, and allowing patients and families to plan for the future.
- The use of telecommunications and information technology are improving the delivery of health care services across distances.