We all know that the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on so many and in so many different ways. Now we have 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 & those caring for the ones with this illness? How are they coping with the isolation? How are they getting by when they can’t visit their loved ones? How are they getting by when they are the caregiver of someone living with dementia who doesn’t understand what is happening?
World Alzheimer's Day is on the 21st of September each year. September 2020 marks the 9th World Alzheimer’s Month™, an international campaign to raise awareness of dementia and challenge stigma.
This year’s campaign promotes the important messages that:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more vital than ever that people continue to talk about dementia.
Talking about dementia helps tackle the stigma, normalises language and encourages people to find out more information, advice and seek help.
People living with dementia and their care givers have an equal right to respect and inclusion, and to diagnosis, quality care and treatment.
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 behavior, 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.”
Taken from https://alzheimer.ca/en/Home
The Peachland Wellness Centre in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of BC “host” a monthly support group. This is a friendly group, open to new members. Everything is confidential and there is absolutely no judgement. The monthly meetings are on hold as we wait to be able to safely meet again however, you can still contact the local Alzheimer Society of BC office in Kelowna
Toll-free: 1-800-634-3399 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Peachland Wellness Centre also is home to the Adult Day Service that we look forward to offering again soon. This is an opportunity for caregivers to bring their loved ones to a caring, fun opportunity to interact in a safe and comfortable environment.
It’s time for understanding. That's why the light is shining on the facts about people living with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Misconceptions are being challenged so that the stigma that surrounds the disease can be reduced. What is true about dementia is it happens in stages, but what is always constant is that there are still lives to be lived, dreams to pursue, and people to love. Dementia is not a normal part of ageing. Understanding the experiences of those affected remains important to support inclusion, empowerment, and respect. Greater awareness, including recognizing the symptoms of dementia, is crucial to encourage more people to seek diagnosis and receive support.
There are many ways to get involved and show your support of Alzheimer’s disease. One small act can make a remarkable difference to the men and women who are impacted by dementia.
Please feel free to contact PWC for more information or referral to supportive resources.