HEAL  Term Paper

HEAL  Term Paper Instructions



  1. Provide a descriptive overview of a health or well-being-related topic of your choice

(10 marks):

  • Describe the problem you have chosen to cover in terms of how many people it affects (prevalence/incidence).
  • Describe who is most at risk of the problem in terms of age, gender, sexual orientation, race/cultural group, and/or other relevant demographic characteristics. HEAL Term Paper – DEMENTIA PREFERENCE IN THE AGING POPULATION IN CANADA
  • Describe where the health event is most likely to occur (i.e., your community of choice).
  • Identify the relevant time component, that is, whether the health-related issue has increased or decreased over the years.  Also discuss whether the relevant person/place components have changed over time. That is, are different people (in different places) at risk today, compared to the past?

To complete this section, you will need to provide statistics as supporting evidence. Be sure to reference them appropriately.


  1. Describe how each applicable Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) health determinant (see https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/health-promotion/population-health/what-determines-health.html#determinants) affects your chosen health issue. To complete this part, you will have to provide at least two references for each health determinant that you use. Make sure you describe how the health determinant influences the issue, i.e., does it make people more vulnerable, or is it protective? Does it interact with other health determinants to exacerbate risk? If there are explicit statistics you can use as evidence of the effect(s), be sure to include them and reference them appropriately (e.g., “Poor people are three times less likely …” ; HEAL Term Paper – DEMENTIA PREFERENCE IN THE AGING POPULATION IN CANADA

(10 marks).

  1. Choose only one focal health determinant from #2 above, and develop a health promotion or prevention strategy for your chosen community. You are strongly encouraged to use an existing strategy, but to put a novel spin on it. Be sure to provide sufficient rationale for choosing the community you have chosen, and for why you have selected the specific health determinant and strategy that you chose to focus on. This section should include an application of steps necessary for community organizing and building. Be sure to reference appropriately throughout (10 marks).

The paper must be typed and double-spaced. It must be written using APA 6th Edition formatting, and incorporate proper sentence and paragraph structure. It must flow well, and be free of grammatical and spelling errors. The length limit is 10 pages not counting the title page and reference list. HEAL Term Paper – DEMENTIA PREFERENCE IN THE AGING POPULATION IN CANADA

Dementia Preference in the Aging Population in Canada



            Dementia is not an identifiable or specific disease. It is an overall term that has been used for decades to describe a huge range of symptoms that are associated with decline in thinking or memory that are severe enough to minimize or reduce an individual’s ability to carry out everyday activities (Luck et al, 2014). Many countries across the globe have a wide range of patients being diagnosed with dementia. In Canada, for instance, the number of people being diagnosed with dementia seems to be increasing on a yearly basis. As of 2017, Canada had 16,000 citizens under the age of 65 living with dementia. HEAL Term Paper – DEMENTIA PREFERENCE IN THE AGING POPULATION IN CANADA. There are 25,000 numbers of new cases of dementia that are diagnosed every year. According to Axmon, Karlsson, and Ahlström (2016), there are more than 56,000 people in Canada that are suffering from dementia that are being cared for in healthcare facilities or hospitals across the country. This paper examines dementia preference across the aging population in Canada as these are the people most likely to be victims of dementia. More importantly, high rates of dementia among the impoverished nations such as the Aborigines will be explored in addition to how health determinants are related to demenatia. HEAL Term Paper – DEMENTIA PREFERENCE IN THE AGING POPULATION IN CANADA

Brief Overview of Dementia in Canada

Dementia is a medical condition that countries across the globe should not ignore anymore. In Canada, more than 564,000 people are currently living with dementia. In the next 15 years, it is estimated that 937,000 Canadians will be living with dementia with the country expected to spend a lot of cash in caring for the populations of people living with dementia (Tam-Tham et al, 2016). According to Axmon, Karlsson, and Ahlström (2016), this is an increase of 66%, while considering the country’s health care system that is ill-equipped to handle such staggering costs. Today, more than 56,000 Canadians are suffering from dementia, and are being cared for in hospitals and other locations that are not ideal for care.

Lately, scientists have identified factors that increase the risk of developing dementia. According to them, some of the most well-known factors include age, heredity, and family history of the disease that cannot be changed. Of importance to note is that there may be other factors or emerging evidence suggesting that there may be more factors that can influence dementia (Tam-Tham et al, 2016). HEAL Term Paper – DEMENTIA PREFERENCE IN THE AGING POPULATION IN CANADA

Age is identified as one of the largest determining factors in cases that involve dementia. In Canada, for instance, the latest statistics are indicating that close to 10% of the population over the age of 65 are having to deal with dementia. In fact, if such people make it to their 85 birthday, their chance of developing serious cases of dementia jumps to nearly 39%. Old age is one of the largest risk factors for dementia with statistics indicating that dementia mostly affects old people (Axmon, Karlsson, and Ahlström, 2016).

Apart from age, other risk factors include a person’s genes. Individuals often seem perplexed as to why dementia is inherited. Some of the most common forms of dementia are caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. According to Luck et al (2014), individuals with a family history of dementia have a higher risk of developing the condition later in life as they may have ‘susceptibility genes’ inherited from parents that increase the risk of developing dementia. HEAL Term Paper – DEMENTIA PREFERENCE IN THE AGING POPULATION IN CANADA

Foster (2016) contends that race is another factor that may determine whether a person will develop dementia later in life or not. In Canada, for instance, research has shown that the First Nations are one-and-a-half likely as the rest of the population to develop the condition than the rest of the population. The reasons for such differences are not well understood, but researchers believe that increased rates of vascular diseases in these groups put them at higher risk of developing dementia. Other lifestyle choices such as drinking, eating habits, smoking, sport that may cause head injuries may also cause dementia at some point (Foster, 2016).

The Aborigines or First Nations as they are known are most likely to be affected by cases of dementia. As noted above, the reasons for such are not well known. Sadly, across these communities too, dementia mainly affects women the most. Aboriginal women who represent almost two thirds of the total population are mainly diagnosed with cases of dementia. In some of the country’s long-term health care facilities, this proportion is even higher, as statistics indicate that 72% of Aboriginal women over the age of 65 are living with dementia (Foster, 2016).

Overall, the Aboriginal communities of Canada are the ones most affected with cases of dementia. The number of men and women in these communities affected by dementia seems to be increasing on a daily basis. Some scholars argue that post traumatic stress disorder linked to residential school attendance, lower levels of education, low income, and stress from racism are factors that increase the vulnerability of these people to develop cases of dementia (Foster, 2016). In short though, dementia is most likely to occur across indigenous communities in Canada in higher numbers as opposed to the rest of the population. HEAL Term Paper – DEMENTIA PREFERENCE IN THE AGING POPULATION IN CANADA

Across the globe, the tide of dementia is swelling. Canada is one of the countries across the globe that has to deal with rising cases of dementia. This is not a problem for old people only, but every citizen’s problem across Canada. Dementia is rising in Canada with latest reports indicating that more than 747,000 people across the country have dementia. That is equal to the whole population of Brunswick, 14Rogers Centres or 72 times the number of Canadians that are seriously injured in car crashes on a yearly basis (Axmon, Karlsson, and Ahlström, 2016).

Unlike the past, dementia rates in Canada are rapidly rising as the country’s population ages. Over the years, statistics have indicated that in all provinces across Canada, cases of people being diagnosed with dementia have increased. As of now, 1 in every 20 people across Canada is living with dementia (Tam-Tham et al, 2016). Between 2011 and 2031, it is projected that there will be a two-fold increase in the number of individuals living with dementia in Canada, and sadly, a significant number of them will be from the country’s First Nation communities (Luck et al, 2014). In short, there is a host of issues such as lifestyle, age, and genes that may cause dementia. In Canada, the number of people living with dementia seems to be increasing with each day that passes. Sadly, a significant number of them are Aborigines or indigenous communities living in the country.


How Public Health Agency of Canada Health Determinants Impact Dementia

            What makes other people healthy and others in the community unhealthy? It is all about the determinants of health. There are many factors that combine together to determine or affect the health of people in communities. Whether individuals are healthy or not, is determined by their environment and circumstances. To a large extent, factors or aspects such as where individuals live, the state of their environment, the relationships with friends and families, their education and income levels, among others, all have a significant considerable impact on their health (Patrick, 2017). Of importance to note is that other factors such as access and subsequent use of health care services often have a less impact.

According to Pega et al (2017), the context of individual’s lives determines their health, and for this reason, blaming them for their poor health or crediting them for good health is actually inappropriate as individuals may not be in a position to directly control the determinants of health. In Canada, for instance, there are 12 health determinants according to the country’s public health agency, and each one of them determines impacts the development of dementia in some way (Patrick, 2017). The 12 determinants of health are culture, health services, healthy child development, biology and genetic endowment, gender, income and social status, physical environments, education and literacy, social support networks, and social environments. Others are personal health practices and coping skills and employment/working conditions (Lucyk and McLaren, 2017). HEAL Term Paper – DEMENTIA PREFERENCE IN THE AGING POPULATION IN CANADA

All of the aforementioned determinants of health can directly be linked to dementia.  For instance, culture may impact on the experience of dementia in a number of ways. While dementia is present in all communities across Canada, it is understood and subsequently dealt in different ways across different communities in the country. Whites seem to have a fair, consistent understanding of dementia as medical condition brought about by other conditions such as Alzheimer’s while people from other cultures view it as a normal condition of aging (Lucyk and McLaren, 2017). Apart from culture, access to health services can impact dementia. Lack of access, or limited access to health services may greatly accelerate or increase a person’s case of dementia as such persons are less likely to take part in preventive care or delay their treatment (Patrick, 2017).

As noted earlier, healthy child development also has a long-term impact on dementia. Apart from being influenced by other multiple diseases, research has shown that healthy child development determines whether one will develop dementia or not later in life (Glouberman and Millar, 2003). Glouberman and Millar (2003) further argue that biology and genetics endowment also determines whether a person will develop dementia or not. Family history matters a lot, and individuals from families with dementia-prone cases are likely to inherit such genes.

Surprisingly, gender is lately being linked to increased cases of dementia in Canada. Studies investigating incidences of dementia across gender have shown that there seems to be a relationship between dementia and gender. In Canada, for instance, studies have indicated that more than 50% of women aged 65 years are living with dementia with less than 40% of men being affected (Lucyk and McLaren, 2017). According to Pega et al (2017), this is likely to reflect the fact that women tend to live longer than men with age being the largest known risk factor for dementia.

Income and social status also make a difference when it comes to cases of dementia. If a well-off family has a patient suffering from dementia, the chances of them getting him or her best medical care to improve his or her condition is high. Poorer people are more likely to have their patient’s condition deteriorate as they cannot afford some of the best healthcare facilities around that can sufficiently take care of a family member living with dementia (Pega et al, 2017). According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), physical environments are also related to cases of dementia. The living environment can impact people’s lives, their feelings, behaviours, and how they relate with others. Of importance to note is that individuals living with dementia are no different. The physical space or the manner in which a certain room is laid out can bring hidden triggers for a person living with dementia (Lucyk and McLaren, 2017).

Education and literacy is another health determinant linked to dementia. A lot of research has been undertaken with the intention of determining the impact of literacy and years of education on subsequent diagnosis of dementia, and the result has shown that there seems to be a correlation between these two elements. Of importance, older adults with limited literacy were found to be at an increased risk of developing dementia (Pega et al, 2017). In fact, exposure to digital technology can help people fight the progression of this disease. HEAL Term Paper – DEMENTIA PREFERENCE IN THE AGING POPULATION IN CANADA

Social support networks and social environments are also linked to the progression and development of dementia. First, social support is one of the best strategies that individuals and societies can use in preventing dementia. By showing such people that they are loved and cared for, their perceived strain and level of depression (aspects that may contribute to dementia) may reduce, an aspect that will slow back the progress of dementia (Patrick, 2017). Additionally, social environments are health determinants that can directly be linked to dementia. Dementia is linked to a number of losses. However, it is the social environment, including relationships with these people that influence how these losses affect the quality of their lives. Taking care of their social needs may halt the progression dementia significantly (Lucyk and McLaren, 2017).

Last, health practices and coping skills and employment/working conditions are other determinants of health that can directly be linked to dementia. Personal health practices and coping skills are those actions that an individual can take so as to avoid certain diseases while promoting self-care, and the ability to cope with challenges. Smoking, over drinking, and taking part in sports such as boxing are health choices that may lead to dementia, an aspect that may affect their coping skill to the extent of requiring help (Pega et al, 2017). On the other hand, employment/working conditions have a positive correlation with dementia. Studies have indicated that adverse conditions of the workplace may lead to depression, increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, and after some time, it may lead to cases of dementia (Patrick, 2017).


A Health Promotion Strategy on Health Services for the Aging People with Dementia in Canada

            With the increased interest in the health of people across the country, health promotion seems to be the best way to assist people by enabling them to take control and actively improve their health. Health promotion focuses on addressing several determinants of health, and do not require elaborate technology or expensive drugs to achieve. Instead, it requires social interventions, which, the basic level, need some personal investment of energy and time (Clarke, 2007).

The aging community in Canada is increasing at an unprecedented pace. For the first time, seniors in the country have outnumbered children based on a report published by Statistics Canada’s latest data. For the first time, the country is witnessing an aging baby Boomer scenario, as well as other societal trends such as longer life expectancies and lower rates of fertility, and the combination of the combination of these factors seems to have rapidly led to the rapid increase in the number of 65-year olds in the country living with dementia (Clarke, 2007).

A study carried out in 2013-2014 indicated that there were more than 402,000 individuals in Canada aged 65 years and above living with dementia. Of this number, close to two-thirds were women (Foster, 2016). It is for this reason that this section of the paper seeks to address this disturbing trend. HEAL Term Paper – DEMENTIA PREFERENCE IN THE AGING POPULATION IN CANADA.

As noted earlier, health services are those services designed to promote health, restore health, and prevent diseases to contribute to population health. Getting access to healthcare services may play a huge role towards determining the health of individuals in a country or a certain location (Foster, 2016). Again, health care services is the chosen health determinant since it is common for people aged 65 years and above living with dementia to lack sufficient access to the required health services due to forgetfulness, inability to go alone to healthcare facilities, and the probability of their families to make sure that they get access to better healthcare facilities on the assumption that dementia is a disease of the old (Clarke et al, 2007).

In line with the above, there is an urgent need to come up with a health promotion strategy to ensure that the aging population in Canada living with dementia can adequately get access to health care services whenever they need them. Health promotion surpasses health care as it puts the health of people on the agenda of policy makers in all levels and in all sectors by directing them to become aware of the health consequences of decisions made and subsequently accept responsibility for their health (Axmon, Karlsson, and Ahlström, 2016).

For the aging community to have access to health care services, a health promotion strategy is required, and here Achieving Health for All is an exceptional framework that can be adopted in this case for better results. This framework calls for attention to key health promotion challenges that include reducing or minimizing inequities in health, increasing the prevention of disease, and enhancing the capacity to cope with disability and chronic disease (Clarke et al, 2007).

The first challenge is about reducing inequities in health of high and low income groups in Canada. Here, there is a huge chance that dementia patients with a low income may not get a chance to be taken care of by the best hospitals around. Within the low-income bracket, there will always be a huge number of individuals who will be locked out of efficient healthcare system as they cannot get access to the best hospitals in the country. In Canada, there are those people for whom “longer life, but worsening health conditions” is a stark reality (Clarke et al, 2007). A lot should be done to reduce such health inequities. HEAL Term Paper – DEMENTIA PREFERENCE IN THE AGING POPULATION IN CANADA.

The second challenge in the health promotion strategy should be to boost or increase prevention efforts. One of the most effective ways of ensuring that a healthy generation of aging people is promoted is by undertaking prevention efforts aimed at ensuring that complications such as dementia do not begin early enough. According to Clarke et al (2007), even though dementia cannot be avoided, its occurrence can be greatly minimized or prevented to some extend by finding out the factors that are likely to cause the condition and then reducing or trying to fight them. Many preventive measures that people take for granted today were actually initiated decades ago. It is estimated that the adoption of preventive measures can lead to more than 50% increase in the early onset of dementia (Clarke et al, 2007).

Enhancing the capacity of people to cope is the last element of health promotion strategy. Today, chronic conditions seem to have replaced a lot of communicable diseases, and the third challenge should be to enhance the capacity of people to manage and cope with chronic conditions such as dementia. Canada is one of the countries across the globe that is experiencing an “age boom” and if efforts to enhance people’s coping capacities are not undertaken, then problems will be faced later (Tam-Tham et al, 2016).

The above cannot be achieved without having in place steps necessary for community organizing and building. To achieve a certain end, Holgate (2015) advocates for six important steps that people need to follow. The first is the listening process followed the first meeting to determine what needs to be done. This is then followed by regular meeting, research, action, and finally implementing an action.





            In a recap, Dementia is a condition that affects millions of people in many countries across the globe. One of the most affected countries is Canada with millions of its aging citizens being diagnosed with dementia on a yearly basis. The older generation of Canadian citizens seems to be the ones affected the most with cases of dementia. Much worse, dementia seems to be prevalent across Canada’s original inhabitants (the Aborigines).There are many causes that accelerate the progress of dementia, but as it appears, old age seems to be the biggest culprit. Coupled with this, there are a number of health determinants that will determine whether a person has a higher chance of developing dementia or not. To reverse or minimize the trend, health promotion campaigns need to be undertaken in earnest, especially across the aging population in Canada. HEAL Term Paper – DEMENTIA PREFERENCE IN THE AGING POPULATION IN CANADA. 


Axmon, A., Karlsson, B., & Ahlström, G. (2016). Health care utilisation among older persons with intellectual disability and dementia: a registry study. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 60 (12), 1165-1177.

Clarke, A., Gatineau, M., Thorogood, M., & Wyn-Roberts, N. (2007). Health promotion research literature in Europe 1995-2005. European Journal of Public Health, 1724-1728.

Foster, C. (2016). Aboriginal Health Care: The Seven Grandfathers Trump the Four Principles. American Journal of Bioethics, 16 (5), 54-56.

Glouberman, S., & Millar, J. (2003). Evolution of the Determinant of Health Policy, and Health Information Systems in Canada. American Journal of Public Health, 93 (3), 388-392.

Holgate, J. (2015). An International Study of Trade Union Involvement in Community Organizing: Same Model, Different Outcomes. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 53 (3), 460-483.

Luck, T., Riedel-Heller, S. G., Luppa, M., Wiese, B., Bachmann, C., Jessen, F., & Maier, W. (2014). A hierarchy of predictors for dementia-free survival in old-age: results of the AgeCoDe study. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 129 (1), 63-72.

Lucyk, K., & McLaren, L. (2017). Taking stock of the social determinants of health: A scoping review. PLOs ONE, 12 (5), 1-24.

Patrick, L. (2017). Determinants of Indigenous Peoples’ Health in Canada: Beyond the Social. Canadian Geographer, 61 (1), 3-4.

Pega, F., Valentine, N. B., Rasanathan, K., Hosseinpoor, A. R., Torgersen, T. P., Ramanathan, V., & … Neira, M. P. (2017). The need to monitor actions on the social determinants of health. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 95 (11), 784-787.

Tam-Tham, H., Nettel-Aguirre, A., Silvius, J., Dalziel, W., Garcia, L., Molnar, F., & Drummond, N. (2016). Provision of dementia-related services in Canada: a comparative study. BMC Health Services Research, 161-169. HEAL Term Paper – DEMENTIA PREFERENCE IN THE AGING POPULATION IN CANADA

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