Jan 24, 2022

Alzheimer's Awareness Month Message from Dr. Tarek Rajji

About the TDRA, Statements
Alzheimer's Awareness Month

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, an opportunity to learn about the experiences of those living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD), including their caregivers/care partners. There are over 500,000 Canadians living with dementia [1], a figure that is expected to continue to rise as the population ages.

During normal times, those living with ADRD are among the most vulnerable members of society. The challenges they face have been amplified by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As we find ourselves in this new wave of the pandemic, many seniors living with ADRD continue to struggle with social isolation and loneliness. For some, social distancing requirements could potentially aggravate dementia-related neuropsychiatric symptoms. Additionally, indirect effects of the pandemic are harmful not only for those living with ADRD, but also for their families and caregivers/care partners as healthcare system and social supports become less accessible.

Many organizations have worked to fill gaps in information and support for people living with ADRD and their care partners during COVID-19. TDRA has compiled a list of these resources, please visit COVID-19 Resources. TDRA is also working on collaborative research projects like the Long-Term Care Home (LTCH) Research Database, which aims to improve the treatment of cognitive and behavioural problems in residents of LTCHs. We are hopeful such initiatives will better equip LTCHs to subsist and support residents with ADRD in future health crises.

During Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, TDRA also wants to express thanks to those who work to help people living with ADRD. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, clinicians and healthcare staff, researchers, patient organizations, caregivers/care partners, and families have worked tirelessly to support those living with dementia through countless challenges and changes. To support this community, TDRA has compiled a list of COVID-19 resources, which includes recent reports and publications on the impacts of Covid-19 on long-term care and dementia care.

Notwithstanding the challenges we are currently facing, there is hope in the science of dementia. TDRA researchers continue to advance discoveries to prevent, treat, and improve care for people at risk for, or living with dementia. To learn about these advances, take advantage of our Advances in Dementia Research webinar series, and/or read about TDRA coordinated studies.

Together we can raise awareness of dementia throughout Canada, and move closer to a future without dementia.


Dr. Tarek Rajji, MD, FRCPC
Executive Director, Toronto Dementia Research Alliance

[1] https://alzheimer.ca/en/about-dementia/what-dementia/dementia-numbers-canada