Is Alzheimer’s disease any different from cancer, a heart attack or any illness that can plague the human body? It is not. Yet despite all of the progress we’ve made in educating the public about Alzheimer’s disease, Canadians with the illness and their caregivers still feel that they cannot be open with others about it.
That’s why this January during Alzheimer Awareness Month the Alzheimer Society of Canada launching a national campaign called “See me, not my disease. Let’s talk about dementia.” Its goal is to encourage Canadians to see the person beyond dementia by challenging their attitudes and perceptions in an online quiz at the Society’s website.
According to a recent poll by Alzheimer ’s disease International, 40 per cent of people with dementia reported being shut out by friends or losing contact after diagnosis. It’s no surprise, then, that one in four respondents cited stigma as a reason to conceal their diagnosis. Take our quiz to see how you fare with your attitudes.
This month, we need your help to make a real impact against stigma. You can help change the conversation in Canada about Alzheimer’s disease by:
- Learning the facts about dementia and sharing these with others, especially if they hear something that isn’t true
- Stop making jokes about Alzheimer’s disease or using ‘baby’ talk when speaking to someone with the disease
- Correcting media stereotypes that only reinforce society’s attitudes and opinions towards people with the disease
- Making every effort to maintain relationships with people with dementia at home, in the community or at work
Visit our website to see other ways you can help.