Friday September 21st 2018 marks the 7th World Alzheimer’s Day. The Dementia Society of Ottawa & Renfrew County is delighted to take part in this international campaign aimed at raising awareness and to challenge the common stigma that surrounds Alzheimer-related dementia, including Younger Onset Dementia.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that impairs memory and other mental functions. It is the most common form of dementia that generalizes memory loss and loss of other essential cognitive abilities that are serious enough to interfere with an individual’s daily life.
Many people think that these symptoms -- memory loss, forgetfulness – are just a normal part of ageing, but they are not and they may occur in people at a much younger age. In fact, approximately 3% of Canadians under the age of 65 have Younger Onset Dementia (YOD). The Dementia Society offers a monthly support group for people with Younger Onset Dementia, called Between Us. Between Us is designed for those under 65 with YOD to attend with their spouse or family member. It is an opportunity to find ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle and help improve coping skills. We are the only organization in Ottawa and Renfrew County that offers a support group specifically for this underserved population.
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Federal Minister of Health, has captured the reality of World Alzheimer’s Day well in her recent comment: “There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease — a disease that has a profound impact on those living with it, as well as their families and friends. … As our population ages, the number of Canadians with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is expected to increase. … Together, we can discover ways to help people living with dementia as well as those who care for them.”
The Dementia Society is proud of its long history of supporting both people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia as well as their caregivers and families in Ottawa and in Renfrew County. We’re here to help. Our staff and volunteers, in collaboration with our community partners, continue to make the life of a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and the life of their caregiver a bit easier.
We are creating a shared awareness and each and every one of us can help make a difference….this is the call to action!
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