Hope for Dementia Gala raises awareness to the tsunami of aging


by Rhonda Massad

With a letter of support from Prime Minister Trudeau, the Hope for Dementia gala held on Thursday, January 31, was a smashing success. Dignitaries were plentiful with heartfelt speeches hosted by event master of ceremonies Carl Baillargeon.

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health Canada spoke of her personal experience with her mother’s journey through dementia and the challenges associated with it.

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“There are many challenges that we see (at the Federal level) are raising awareness and addressing stigma,” said Petitpas Taylor. “We still have a lot of work to be done in that area. The federal government will be launching the dementia strategy coming this spring, and I am looking forward to doing some work in that area.”

Member of Parliament for Saint Laurent, Emmanuella Lambropoulos had invited Petitpas Taylor only a week prior to the event and Petitpas made it a priority to attend.

Coalition Avenir Québec, Marc Baaklini with WIB’s Rhonda Massad

“I am proud to have NOVATEK, the major sponsor of the event, in my riding,” said Lambropoulos . “This event is raising funds to open clinics that will provide basically free diagnosis that is not available in Canada right now. This will help people take control of their lives once a diagnosis is made.”

The Hope for Dementia Team of volunteers included Nissa Barkat and her father Mohamed Barkat.

“Canada is the best country on earth,” Mohamed Barkat said proudly. “There is simply no better place to live, can you imagine being able to help these people in their struggle through the Tsunami of aging? It is a great thing.”

Tickets for the evening ran at $175 in an effort to support three main objectives:

  1. To provide free cognitive tests to the elderly & veterans.
  2. To educate and raise awareness about the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other Dementia related illnesses.
  3. To establish a Research Chair at a Canadian University to conduct teaching and R&D.

Hope for Dementia is a federal non-profit charitable organization working to support the cause of safeguarding healthy brains in our aging population. Hope for Dementia is dedicated to supporting the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of dementia and other cognitive disorders.

The latest projections from the World Health Organization, reveals that at the current rate, there will be around 2 billion people 65 years and older by 2050. Additionally, the elderly population will exceed the number of children in the near future and this “Tsunami of aging” will result in significant economical, social and medical complications. Approximately three years ago, Tokyo Times reported that Japan became the first country in the world where there were 2.5 times more adults than baby diapers sold, and in Canada we are not too far off.