A surprising 12 per cent of Canadians say they are directly caring for someone with dementia.

The survey asked 1,824 Canadians 18 years of age and over if they were caregivers to someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The results surprised even the poll takers.

“That’s a lot of people affected by this,” said Lorne Bozinoff of Forum Research.

Quebec had the highest number of dementia caregivers at 16 per cent of respondents, likely because caring for family members at home is a cultural norm. “They are comfortable looking after family members themselves,” said Bozinoff.

At 22 per cent, Canadians with the lowest income were also more likely to report they were caring for a senior family member with dementia.

Further, dementia is a big fear among those surveyed. Nearly 4‐in‐10 Canadians (38 per cent) say baby boomers -- those born from 1946 to 1965 -- are more likely to experience dementia than previous generations.

Interestingly, 45 per cent of respondents who belong to Gen X (born 1965 to 1979) think the boomer generation of today is particularly susceptible to dementia. Meanwhile, 39 per cent of boomers think they are at higher risk.