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Library to host special session on Alzheimer's
Imagine a close friend tells you she has dementia. Would you avoid her for fear of being embarrassed by what she might say or do? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. According to a recent poll by Alzheimer’s Disease International, 40 per cent of people with dementia reported they had been avoided or treated differently after diagnosis. It’s no surprise, then, that one in four respondents cited stigma as a reason to conceal their diagnosis.
That’s why, this January during Alzheimer Awareness Month, the Alzheimer Society is launching a nation-wide campaign called “See me, not my disease. Let’s talk about dementia.” Its goal is to address myths about the disease, shift attitudes and make it easier to talk about dementia. Canadians are also invited to test their attitudes and perceptions in an online quiz at the Society’s website, www.alzheimer.ca.
“Stereotypes and misinformation are what prevent people with dementia from getting the help they need and stop others from taking the disease seriously. Dementia is more than
having the occasional “senior moment” or losing your keys. The truth is it’s a progressive degenerative brain disorder that affects each person differently. It’s fatal and there is no cure”, says Lynn Moffatt, Executive Director.
“Dementia really challenges the values we hold as a society and what it means to be human,” says Mary Schulz, Director of Education at the Alzheimer Society of Canada. “We need to stop avoiding this disease and rethink how we interact with people with dementia. Only by understanding the disease and talking more openly about it, can we face our own fears and support individuals and families living with dementia.”
Today, 747,000 Canadians have dementia. While dementia can affect people as young as 40 years of age, the risk doubles every five years after 65.
“A diagnosis of dementia doesn’t immediately render a person incapable of working or carrying on with their daily life,” explains Schulz. “Many people with this disease tell us they want to continue contributing to their community and remain engaged for as long as possible.” In fact growing evidence shows that involving people with dementia in meaningful activities that speak to their strengths helps to slow the progression of the disease and will improve their well-being. “Inclusion benefits all of us,” adds Schulz.
To help change the conversation, Canadians can do their part if they
•Learn the facts about dementia. Help to dispel inaccurate information to change society’s attitudes and opinions towards people with the disease.
•Stop making jokes about Alzheimer’s which trivialize the condition. We don’t tolerate racial jokes, yet dementia-related jokes are common.
•Maintain relationships with people with dementia at home, in the community or at work, especially as the disease progresses.
To learn more about the Let’s talk about dementia campaign, visit www.alzheimer.ca
This January for Alzheimer awareness month the Alzheimer Society of Kenora/Rainy River Districts has a number of educational activities taking place:
•Living with Dementia: One Day at a Time (Online Session)
In this presentation, Roger Bumstead and his wife Mireille join Mary Schulz, Director of Education, at the Alzheimer Society of Canada to address some of the challenges of living with dementia. Roger, 72, was di-agnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at age 65 shortly after his retirement from law enforcement. Roger and Mireille will share what life has been like since the diagnosis and how common stereotypes and misinformation about dementia have affected their lives. In this hour-long discussion, the couple will also offer some lessons learned and how they’re living life to the fullest.
Free online session: Date: January 16, 2013
Time: 11:00AM - 12:00PM CST
Location: Library, 334 4th - (Rainy River)
To register for this session, please call 1-800-682-0245 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
•Coffee Break Challenge: Make a difference in your daily grind and host a Coffee Break® at home, work or anywhere!
Register to host a Coffee Break today. The “Host with the Most” will win a coffee cup trophy and receive ballots to enter to win a new Tim Hortons Home Brewer! We provide you with a hosting kit! It‟s not just limited to coffee.
To be eligible for the trophy and home brewer, your Coffee Break® must be held in January.
To register, and details on hosting options, please call 1-800-682-0245, www.alzheimerkrr.com