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Category: Canada Posts

How do you want to leave your financial legacy?

How do you want to leave your financial legacy?

Planning for the future is important for everyone, but it’s especially important if you or someone you care about has dementia. That’s why we’ve partnered with RBC Wealth Management Estate & Trust Services to bring you a series of informative blogs about estate planning.

In this blog, Leanne Kaufman, Head of RBC Estate & Trust Services, asks ‘What kind of financial legacy do you want to leave behind?’

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Celebrating Mother’s Day when Mom has dementia

Celebrating Mother’s Day when Mom has dementia

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, the crunch is on to find that perfect gift to show your mom just how much she means to you. But what if your mom has dementia? Here are a few simple, engaging ways to show your mom how much you care—on Mother’s Day or any other day of the year.

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Living well…right to the end

Living well…right to the end

May 7 – 13, 2017 is National Hospice Palliative Care Week. Mary Schulz, Director of Education at the Alzheimer Society of Canada discusses some of the misconceptions about palliative care and why it’s important to have conversations about end-of-life.

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Research Video Series: Introducing Dr. Edith Hamel

Research Video Series: Introducing Dr. Edith Hamel


Dr. Edith Hamel’s research focuses on the supply of blood to the brain, which is so important as the brain doesn’t have a reserve of oxygen and glucose – the main fuel for neurons. This project could uncover ways to slow down the progression of vascular dementia, possibly through the use of therapies already available for the treatment of diabetes and hypercholesterolemia. Dr. Hamel is a professor at McGill University in Montreal.

I strongly believe that real possibilities exist to prevent or delay the appearance of Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia.
-Dr. Edith Hamel

Dr. Edith Hamel

Biomedical Grant Recipient in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia – $150,000
Project: Role of compromised cerebral circulation in susceptibility to cognitive failure.

Read about more of our grant and award recipients here.

Research Video Series: Introducing Iva Brunec

Research Video Series: Introducing Iva Brunec


Iva Brunec is investigating how memories about the duration and order of events are created in healthy brains, and how this ability changes in those at risk for dementia. Is the ability to encode and recall information about time one of the first functions to break down with Alzheimer’s disease? Does it affect other aspects of memory as a result? This research aims to provide evidence of a sensitive indicator before a diagnosis of dementia even occurs.

Investigating these disorders and aiming to understand what causes them, how they progress, and how they may be alleviated or prevented could enrich the lives of not only those living with dementia but also the networks of their families and caregivers.
-Iva Brunec

Iva Brunec

Biomedical Doctoral Award Recipient in Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia – $66,000
Project: Investigating the hippocampal role in encoding temporal information as a possible

Read about more of our grant and award recipients here.

The mirror of dementia

The mirror of dementia

I look in the mirror and what do I see?

I see me. That is me…the same ‘me’ I’ve always seen when I look in the mirror.

But wait – is it really the same ‘me’? Is this what others see? I look like me – or the ‘me’ I was.

You see, I have changed – not on the outside, not in who I am, not in what I believe; I haven’t changed in how I see the world.

You see, I’ve changed in how my mind works.

The words…the words I use, they don’t come easy; they become confused. That word I want to use – you know that word – it won’t come to me now.

Oh yes, there I am, there in the mirror. What did I come in here for? I don’t know. Well, I’m in the bathroom looking in the mirror…I must be in here for something.

Oh look, here is a hairbrush. That must be it – I must have come in to brush my hair.

But when I look in the mirror, my hair is already brushed. No, no, that is not what I’m in here for.

This disease is making me confused at times. But I’m still me when I look in the mirror.

No, wait – those aren’t my eyes. Those eyes I see looking back at me are tired; my eyes aren’t tired.

My eyes twinkle and are full of life. I am full of life.

Look, look in the mirror – that is me. The ‘me’ others see.

Look at my smile – there it is – yes, I am happy. I have a loving husband and a supportive family. Yes, I am happy.

But, wait…that smile is drooping…my smile doesn’t droop.

Is this a sign of that disease in my head…the one that is attacking my brain? The brain that does not always work the way I want it to…

Can others see theses signs, too?

Look in the mirror – this is me.

How long will I still be me? How long will I still see me?

How soon before I look in this mirror and the ‘me’ won’t be there?


© 2016 Phyllis Fehr

Phyllis is a person living with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy body dementia. She is a strong advocate for the rights and abilities of people with dementia at the local, national and international level. Read her full bio here: http://www.odag.ca/our-people.html

Research Video Series: Introducing Hadir AlQot

Research Video Series: Introducing Hadir AlQot


Hadir AlQot aims to further our knowledge and understanding of the complex mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, she aims to investigate a novel aspect of the cholinergic system and its vulnerability in Alzheimer’s disease in relation to key pathological features and cognitive decline. Hadir AlQot is doctoral student at the University of Western Ontario.

It is my hope that this research will help unravel potential novel therapeutic targets for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
-Hadir AlQot

Hadir AlQot

Biomedical Doctoral Award Recipient in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia – $66,000
Project: The functional role of nuclear 82-kDa ChAT in APP metabolism and its potential neuroprotective significance

Read about more of our grant and award recipients here.

Is it time to move to long-term care?

Is it time to move to long-term care?

You survived the holidays and you’re now getting back into your regular routine. For many people, the holidays are a time to get together with friends and relatives that you haven’t seen in a while. As joyful as these gatherings can be, they can also bring new worries. You may have noticed that your father seems more forgetful.  Perhaps your aunt’s dementia seems to be getting worse.  Or, a dear friend may have seemed frailer than you remembered.

We try to care for relatives and friends in our own homes for as long as possible.  But when a person has dementia, this can be especially challenging. Even families who are well resourced and living close to each other often struggle to support someone who needs a lot of care at home until the end of life.

As difficult as it is, moving to a long-term care home is more the norm than the exception for families of someone with dementia. Research shows that 57% of seniors living in a residential care home have Alzheimer’s disease and/or another form of dementia. And, 70% of people with dementia will eventually die in a nursing home.

At the Alzheimer Society, people who have dementia often tell us they worry about someday moving into long-term care.  Their families tell us that it can be the hardest decision they’ll ever make:  “How will I know it is time?” “What about the promises we made to care for each other until the end?”  “How do I choose a home?” “How much will it cost?” “Will my partner get the care she needs?”

That’s why the Alzheimer Society has created a new series of checklists to help families know what to ask and look for when choosing a long-term care home, and how to adjust to the transition. These come in four easy-to-use brochures with lots of practical tips:

  • Considering the move to a long-term care home
  • Preparing for a move
  • Handling moving day, and
  • Adjusting after a move

You can download these free resources in English at www.alzheimer.ca/longtermcare and in French at www.alzheimer.ca/soinsdelongueduree from the Alzheimer Society of Canada’s website.

You can also get printed copies from your local Alzheimer Society. To find the Alzheimer Society closest to you, please visit: www.alzheimer.ca/en/provincial-office-directory or call toll free: 1-800-616-8816.