Early diagnosis keeps lives from unravellingWednesday, January 08, 2014 by: SooToday.com Staff
Terry Caporossi, Executive Director, Alzheimer Society of Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma District was at City Council on Monday to hear Mayor Amaroso read an official proclamation declairing January Alzheimer Awareness Month.
2011 marked the year that the first wave of baby boomers turned 65.
Almost 2,500 people in Algoma district are living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, Caporossi told the Mayor and Council members.
Within a generation, this number could almost double, and the costs of caring for individuals with dementia will have the potential to overwhelm our health care system.
January is Alzheimer Awareness Month.
This year, our awareness campaign focuses on the benefits of early diagnosis.
A news release from the Alzheimer Sociey of Sault Ste. Marie follows.
That's why during Alzheimer Awareness Month the Alzheimer Society is launching a new campaign, Early diagnosis keeps your life from unravelling, to promote the benefits of early diagnosis.
But fear and stigma continue to be huge barriers to seeking help.
In a recent Nanos survey, 60 percent of Canadians polled said it would be harder to disclose if they, or someone close to them, had Alzheimer’s disease compared to other diseases because of the social stigma associated with mental health issues.
Earlier diagnosis opens the door to important information, resources and support through local Alzheimer Societies and helps people with dementia focus on their abilities to remain independent in their homes and communities longer.
With early diagnosis, people can access medications which, although may not work for everyone, are most effective when taken early.
On a practical level, an early diagnosis gives someone the chance to explain the changes happening in their life to family and friends and allows families to plan ahead.
"Seventy-four percent of Canadians know someone with dementia and more and more Canadians will continue to develop the disease. We want to make sure they’re getting the help they need at every stage of the disease,” says Janice Seppala, Public Education Coordinator.
“As devastating as the news can be, early diagnosis brings relief to families, gives them control over their situation and adds more years of living active and fulfilling lives."
Throughout January, Canadians are encouraged to visit the Alzheimer Society’s campaign website, earlydiagnosis.ca/diagnosticprecoce.ca, to learn how to spot the signs of dementia, understand the benefits of a diagnosis and prepare for a doctor's visit.
This year’s awareness campaign is proudly supported by the KPMG Foundation.
Today 747,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer's disease and dementia, with this number expected to increase to 1.4 million in less than 20 years.
Although Canada's aging demographic will continue to fuel these numbers, increasingly people in their 40's and 50's are also being affected.
Growing evidence also shows that brain changes resulting in dementia can begin 25 years before symptoms appear.
About the Alzheimer Society
The Alzheimer Society of Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma District is a charitable organization that was formed in 1985 and is a leading health care organization for people affected by dementia in Algoma district.
The Society provides enhanced support and education services for people with the disease, their families, and their caregivers.
The Society has a main office in Sault Ste. Marie and satellite offices in Elliot Lake and Wawa.