Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
posted on January 5, 2018
January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in Canada. The Alzheimer’s Society of Canada hopes that this initiative will help foster a greater appreciation for the scope of the disease of dementia across Canada.
Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is a serious and widespread problem in Canada. Every year, 25,000 Canadians are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and the number of Canadians currently living with dementia is expected to reach nearly One Million over the next 15 years. With no effective cure or viable treatment in existence, these numbers represent a serious need for increased research and healthcare nationwide.
The hope is that through Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada is invested in bringing about widespread awareness of the way that dementia affects everyone, from the patient, to their family and friends, and ultimately the community overall.
What has been done
Since 1989, the Alzheimer Society has invested over $50 million in bio-medical and quality of life research to ensure that those living with Alzheimer’s can and do live full and meaningful lives.
The society works to make it widely known that behind every person living with Alzheimer’s is a community of caregivers, often, these are committed family and friends who work tirelessly to help the patient live a full and productive life.
What Remains to be done
Part of combatting a disease of the mind, like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is removing the stigma associated with it. A major part of this year’s Alzheimer’s Awareness Month is to begin a conversation on how people living with Alzheimer’s remain an important part of the community.
This is the key reason why this year’s Alzheimer’s Awareness Month is committed to the idea of reducing stigma and misinformation, including “negative language” that is “used to describe Alzheimer’s and other dementias” that works against building a community surrounding the disease.
With this in mind, community members across Canada are asked to participate online by using the #InItForAlz hashtag and start conversations with their families and friends in order to remove the stigmas associated with dementia. Another part of the Alzheimer’s Society’s initiative on social media is the #stillhere hashtag, which you can learn more about by clicking here.
If you or someone you know has been directly affected by Alzheimer’s disease, there are many resources across Canada that you can take advantage of to make the most of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.
Check back on Kinjunxion’s website over the next month for more resources on Alzheimer’s and dementia as well as features on how to be a caregiver while battling stigma associated with the behaviours of someone living with Alzheimer’s and the part literature plays in the lives of caregivers and patients.
Alzheimer’s and Stigma
In 2016, it was estimated that 564,000 Canadians were living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. With 25,000 Canadians being diagnosed each year, it is important to understand how the way that we talk about these diseases affects our perceptions of people living with these diseases. Effects of Stigma Stigma, or negative stereotypes, are passed through false information and can lead to negative understandings of both the disease and the people who live with it. This eventually leads to family and friends being intimidated by the prospect of helping out a loved one who has been diagnosed, or...