Let’s Not Forget About Dementia

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     Now, where did I leave my car keys?

     What was the name of that actor in that movie we just saw?

     Did I tell you that story already…sorry I don’t remember.

No, I am not losing my mind.

I am told this is just a sign of “normal aging.”

But for the 564,000 Canadians (the number is expected to double in fifteen years) currently living with dementia, this is not the case. For them, their lives tell a different story.

In Canada, there are 25,000 new cases of dementia diagnosed every year.

Including patients, families and informal caregivers, 1.1 million Canadians are affected directly or indirectly by the disease.

According to the Alzheimer Society of B.C., dementia is an overall term for a set of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain, including Alzheimer’s.

Dementia is an illness that robs people of their personality, cognitive ability, independence, control and wellbeing – essential traits that make people who they are. As a result, living in the world of dementia is often frightening and unpredictable for patients, as well as family and friends who often provide intensive round-the-clock care.

If you are worried about symptoms for yourself or a loved one, CARP provides a link to the Mild Behavioural Impairment checklist which has 34 questions, three of which are listed below.

Has the person lost interest in friends, family, or home activities?

Is the person less affectionate and/or lacking in emotions when compared to her/his usual self?

Does the person seem to lack the social judgment she/he previously had about what to say or how to behave in public or private?

CARP is advocating for people affected by this daunting disease.

CARP is fighting for a National Dementia Care Strategy that supports both formal and informal caregivers and ensures Canadians with dementia get the best possible care. And they now have hope.

You have heard of the expression, “the personal is political?”

Last year, Federal Health Minister, Jane Philpott, signaled support for a national dementia strategy when she tearfully described her 81-year-old father’s battle with dementia. She agreed more needs to be done to help Canadians living with this degenerative condition.

And just this month, Conservative MP Rob Nicholson teamed up with Liberal MP Rob Oliphant to push for a national non-partisan Alzheimer’s and dementia strategy.  Nicholson, who recently introduced a private member’s bill calling for a Canada-wide framework, has experienced the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s first-hand with his father.

Your White Rock/Surrey CARP chapter invites to be part of the discussion on this important and timely subject as we ask what part does stress play in relation to dementia?

Please join us for Stress and the Dementia Connection, presented by Karen Tyrell, who is a volunteer Board member for the North Fraser CARP chapter.

Karen is a dementia consultant, educator and author and for over 20 years has been a zealous advocate for those affected by dementia.  She will be sharing information on how stress affects brain health and how scientists warn it can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Her presentation will also include tips for reducing stress.

When:             Thursday, March 30, 2017

Time:               7 – 9 pm (Registration @ 6:30 pm)

Location:         White Rock Community Centre, 15154 Russell Avenue

Cost:                By Donation

RSVP:              Denice at 604-538-5778

Looking forward to seeing you…please don’t forget to RSVP.

To learn more about the different kinds of dementias as well as Alzheimer’s disease, please go to their website at:

http://www.alzheimer.ca/en/bc/About-dementia

To learn more about CARP’s dementia care strategy and the Mild Behavior Impairment checklist, please go to CARP’s website.

http://www.carp.ca/priority/national-dementia-care-strategy/

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