Are you the CEO of Your Family? Join our Community of Empowered and Brain-Healthy Women

Are brain health and wellness indicators of gender equality? 

Canadian women live about five years longer than men. This fact has often been used to explain why  women account for about 70 percent of people living with dementia and cognitive diseases. While these numbers are concerning, we believe that there is opportunity to be proactive. “I thought I knew a lot but was unaware of some of the risks for women,” says Dorienne Rowan-Campbell, a participant of our Yur Brain Health webinar.

At The Dementia Society, we know that information about women’s brain health is limited, but we also know there is curiosity and a need to learn. The response to our new initiative confirms that  people in our region want to learn about aging and dementia in women, and strategies to prevent and  delay cognitive decline.

You asked. The Dementia Society Responds.

To help women in our region understand the role of sex difference in brain-health and related risk factors, The Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County announced the  Yur Brain Health Initiative in January 2022, during Global Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. As the guest speaker of our most recent webinar about vascular and brain health, Dr. Louise Larameé, said, “women are often the CEOs of their family–maybe without the salary, but there can be lots of rewards.” Everyone’s brain health is important, that goes without saying. As chief decision-makers and managers of many healthcare and other key decisions of family members, we know if we can help empower women, we all benefit. This initiative is about forming a like-minded community of women seeking to empower themselves to prevent and delay dementia. Because we know from experience, that’s worth talking about.. 

To date, we have conducted three free webinars as a part of the Yur Brain Health initiative.  In the first webinar with Dr. Nafissa Ismail, we discussed brain health, dementia risks and sex differences for women. While in the second event, we celebrated International Women’s Day with Dr. Aileen  Burford-Mason by discussing dietary strategies for better brain health in women. The third webinar in our series focused on the heart and the brain: the cardiovascular connection with Dr. Louise Laramée. 

More than 700 women have attended these events, of course mostly from our region of Ottawa and Renfrew County, and we are thrilled to welcome participants from  across Canada and worldwide including participants from the USA and the United Kingdom. “Definitely looking forward to more information on this topic. It is long overdue. Women’s health is so important, especially with the numbers we heard about on this webinar,” affirmed a recent participant.

After a heartwarming response from the community, and a generous donation from the estate of Dr. Marguerite Ritchie, we will be hiring an intern to develop a caregiver wellness program. Over 80% of Dementia Society clients are women caring for someone–a partner, a parent, a sibling or friend–living with dementia. The importance of self care for the carer is often overlooked and can create health risks. As with all our programs, a guiding principle of this new program is that it must be practical and pragmatic to help as many caregivers in our community as possible. 

Your support and funds help us offer free programs, events and services for those affected by dementia in Ottawa and Renfrew County. Donate to your local Dementia Society and help us ensure that no one faces dementia alone. 

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