Contributed by: Christina MacMaster, Executive Coordinator at the PWC Article Sources:
Alzheimer Society of Canada, 2021, accessed September 2021, <https://alzheimer.ca/en>
We all know that the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on so many and in so many different ways. Then we had the smoke to contend with just to add another level to the struggles to maintain good mental health. But what about those living with Alzheimer’s and those caring for the ones with this illness? How are they coping? How are they getting by when they are the caregiver of someone living with dementia who doesn’t understand what is happening?
September 21st every year is recognized as World Alzheimer’s Day around the world. This is an international campaign aimed at raising awareness and challenging the common stigma that surrounds Alzheimer related dementia.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that impairs memory and other mental functions. It is the most common form of dementia that generalizes memory loss and loss of other essential cognitive abilities that are serious enough to interfere with an individual’s daily life.
September 2021 marks the 10th World Alzheimer’s Month since the campaign was launched in 2012. From previous studies, an average of 2 out of 3 people globally have little or no understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and associated dementia in their countries.
Understanding Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is the best way to help those that are impacted.
So…what is dementia?
“Dementia is not a single disease; it’s an overall term — like heart disease — that covers a wide range of specific medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. Disorders grouped under the general term “dementia” are caused by abnormal brain changes. These changes trigger a decline in thinking skills, also known as cognitive abilities, severe enough to impair daily life and independent function. They also affect behaviour, feelings, and relationships. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60-80% of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs because of microscopic bleeding and blood vessel blockage in the brain, is the second most common cause of dementia. Those who experience the brain changes of multiple types of dementia simultaneously have mixed dementia. There are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies. Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as "senility" or "senile dementia," which reflects the formerly widespread but incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging.”
“Dementia is a collective name for progressive brain syndromes that cause deterioration over time of a variety of different brain functions such as memory, thinking, recognition and language, planning and personality. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50-60% of cases of dementia.”
The Peachland Wellness Centre is home to the Adult Day Service (ADS) that is offered once a week and provides fun interactive activities for those living with dementia and offers the caregivers a small bit of respite from the work of caring for their loved one.
The PWC is always available for you to contact by calling (250) 767-0141 Monday to Friday between 9:00 am - 3:00 pm to get information on available resources, programs and services. The PWC partners with many organizations to ensure the help you need is available.
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