There are many resources for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease

Continuing with the education theme, September’s columns by Wendy Johnstone are going to focus on Alzheimer’s disease awareness and resources for family caregivers and those living with Alzheimer’s disease.

I want to thank everyone for their feedback regarding column topics.

I received a variety of suggestions including grief, respite and advocacy. Starting in October, the column will integrate readers’ suggestions.

Any time you wish to submit a suggestion, please e-mail them to me at info@keystoneeldercare.com.

Continuing with the education theme, September’s columns are going to focus on Alzheimer’s disease awareness and resources for family caregivers and those living with Alzheimer’s disease.

A lot of caregivers ask me, “What’s the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?”

Dementia is an umbrella term that refers to the many different types of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for approximately 64 per cent of all cases in Canada.

Other types of dementia include vascular dementia, Pick’s Disease, Lewy-Body and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Did you know?

• More than 70,000 British Columbians are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia — nearly 10,000 of these individuals are under the age of 65.

• 1 in 11 Canadians over the age of 65 (approximately 500,000 people) has Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.

• In just five years, as many as 50 per cent more Canadians and their families could be facing Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.

• As it stands today, the number of Canadians living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia will more than double within a generation (25 years).

• Alzheimer’s disease is the second most feared disease for Canadians as they age.

• One in three Canadians (36 per cent) know someone with Alzheimer’s disease.

(For more facts and figures, please visit www.alzheimerbc.org and visit Disease Statistics).

There’s a general misconception that memory loss is “just a normal part of aging.” Dementia is a progressive, degenerative disease that destroys vital brain cells. It is not a normal part of aging.

As we age, we can expect that some aspects of cognition may decline including remembering people’s names, recounting facts and words, trying to remember where you put an object, the ability to multi-task and reaction time.

However, there are several areas that don’t necessarily decline with age including vocabulary, decision-making, creativity, ability to learn, being able to use language and processing and remembering new information.

Because we are in “back to school” mode, take a quick test on how much you know about Alzheimer’s Disease. You can find the survey at www.alzheimer.ca/testyourknowledge.

The Alzheimer’s Society of BC offers some really good resources on their website as well as free workshops.

One tele-workshop being offered is Driving and Dementia on Thursday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. Go to www.alzheimerbc.org/We-Can-Help/Telephone-Workshops.aspx for more information and to register.

Also, a Family Caregiver Education workshop is being offered on Oct. 21 from 1 to 4 p.m. in Campbell River.

The workshop provides an introduction to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias as well as creative approaches to support loved ones with dementia. For more information or to register, call 1-800-462-2833, or e-mail jhope@alzheimerbc.org.

Come back in two weeks to read about supporting loved ones with dementia and what support groups are available in the Comox Valley.

Wendy Johnstone is a gerontologist and is the founder of Keystone Eldercare Solutions. Her column runs in the Comox Valley Record every second Friday.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

James Hutchison was sentenced in court for a robbery from April 2019. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Accused sentenced for early morning robbery in Courtenay

Hutchison gets credit for 218 days in custody but given 120 more days in jail

Tidal Café owners Blythe and Kurt Reimer (left) and Toscano’s head chef and general manager Tristan Taylor have been sharing deck space to help both businesses during the expanded COVID public health order restrictions that ban indoor dining. Photo by Terry Farrell
Neighbouring Comox restaurants share patios for mutual benefit during COVID restrictions

Two restaurants in Comox are working together to help ease the burden… Continue reading

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
A little girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

John Ludlow is making leis for sale for $20 each, with all proceeds to be donated to the Comox Valley Transition Society. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Celebrating kindness, joy and helping others on Lei Day

Ludlow is making leis for sale with proceeds to be donated to the Comox Valley Transition Society

Cumberland is finalizing its tax rate bylaw for the year, which will see a 4.93 per cent increase. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland moving ahead on 4.93 tax hike

Residential rates’ hike was less than projected during planning stages

A peacock struts by a pair of lamb siblings at the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm, which remains closed to the public. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
VIDEO: Victoria petting zoo optimistic about future after 13 months closed

Public helps non-profit Beacon Hill Children’s Farm with nearly $100,000 influx

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

LUSH Valley is seeking help from local governments to help restart its Good Food Box program for vulnerable citizens. File photo
Courtenay to determine contribution to Good Food Box program

The City of Courtenay is in the process of determining an appropriate… Continue reading

FILE – RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by as protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion block rail lines, in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, November 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Very scary’: B.C. travel rules too vague, shouldn’t involve police, civil liberties group says

BCCLA said that speaking with communities could have avoided top-down approach

A man accused of choking a 15-year-old in his tent in Beacon Hill Park Tuesday night has been arrested by Victoria police. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man accused of choking, sexually exploiting 15-year-old in Victoria tent arrested

Police arrested the 38-year-old in Beacon Hill Park Wednesday afternoon

Ocean Legacy Foundation members conduct a shoreline pollution cleanup in Vancouver. (OLP)
It’s time to end ‘suffocating’ plastic pollution along B.C. shorelines, advocates urge

This Earth Day, Ocean Legacy Foundation is launching a free educational platform to educate the public about plastic pollution

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. university rowing coach ‘deeply sorry’ after complaints

Barney Williams says he’s been committed to ensuring no other member of the roster had a similar experience

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
B.C. teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Most Read