January is Alzheimer’s awareness month and the office of the Canadian Alzheimer’s Society has released a report on Dementia called Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadians. This report sent off alarm bells for the country. It mentioned:
- The rate at which Canadians develop Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia will grow from one every five minutes to one every two minutes, if nothing changes.
- The number of people living with dementia in Canada will more than double from 500,000 to 1.1 million.
You can imagine the implications this will have on the health care system not to mention the human impact. You may ask why this is happening to Canada. We are like all western nations who are dealing with an aging population. Dementia increases with age and since there is no cure as of yet, we have an enormous challenge on our hands. This is why the Alzheimer’s Society is sending out a call to action for our government to organize a comprehensive National Dementia Strategy. There is no time to waste as millions of baby boomers are entering their retirement years, but if we act now we can still turn the tide.
I knew nothing about dementia or Alzheimer’s before my mother’s diagnosis and now it seems that everyone I speak with knows someone who is affected by this devastating disease. If someone in your family is affected I would urge you to seek help from your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Society. They can offer much valuable knowledge which can make all the difference. They have many helpful suggestions on dealing with the daily frustrations involved with care giving and finding a suitable care facility. There are medications out there which slow the process and new clinical trials are in the works, but more must be done.
What can you do if you have a family member with dementia? You can help them by educating yourself about the disease. I wished that my family had recognized my mother’s symptoms earlier then she may have been helped by some of the medications which slow the disease. This is one reason I am writing the book about my mother’s journey, to let others know to seek help early because fore warned is fore armed.
To read the Rising Tide Report go to: