Meet our Researchers: Tamara Sussman, McGill University

Meet our Researchers: Tamara Sussman, McGill University

I have a long professional and personal history working with people living with dementia. My mother was a gerontological social worker who used to share some of the struggles people with dementia faced including feeling isolated, alone and misunderstood. Following in her footsteps, I too became a social worker for older adults and began to hear those stories firsthand. As I listened, it occurred to me that many of the challenges that persons with dementia faced were created by us…

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Clearing the air about cannabis and dementia

Clearing the air about cannabis and dementia

As Canada dives headfirst into the legalization of cannabis, there has been rising interest in its potential medicinal benefits, including its therapeutic use for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Over the past decade, researchers and clinicians have investigated the effects of cannabinoids, the chemical compounds in the cannabis plant that give it its medicinal and recreational properties. One of the things they have studied is whether cannabinoids can reduce agitation. We know that agitation is a common change in behaviour in…

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Let’s talk about research

Let’s talk about research

Today, I’m reaching out because I want to know what you think about dementia research in Canada. Your own experience and the wisdom of your insights can help the Alzheimer Society amplify the voices of people like you – ensuring that these voices are heard and action is taken. I hope you will join the conversation. Since coming on board as CEO, the goodwill, expressions of support and advice from individuals across the country have been heartwarming and deeply appreciated….

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Gardening therapy for dementia

Gardening therapy for dementia

For someone who loves gardening, there is nothing like the meticulous, careful work of planning, planting and caring for a garden. The creative and tactile experience of being near to nature is not only good for our well-being, but it may in fact help to relieve the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Living well includes many lifestyle factors, including diet, exercise, social contact and more. All of these can improve our cognitive health, no matter our age….

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How MedicAlert® Safely Home® boosts independence for those with dementia

How MedicAlert® Safely Home® boosts independence for those with dementia

Betty and her daughter Eileen have worked side by side at their rural Ontario bakery for 30 years, singing and dancing as they knead dough and glaze cinnamon rolls. When Betty, 81, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease seven years ago, her daughter knew the best treatment for her mom was to keep working. “Like everyone, people with Alzheimer’s want to be productive, and boy do we have that covered,” says Eileen. Her mom cuts granola bars by the hundreds –…

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After a dementia diagnosis, an easy decision to help with care

After a dementia diagnosis, an easy decision to help with care

When Moira was diagnosed with young onset dementia at the age of 51, she and her family had some difficult decisions to make. She had to take early retirement from her job as a high school math teacher in Brampton, Ontario, designate her oldest daughter and husband as primary caregivers, and enrol in a day program for people with dementia while her family is at work. But there was at least one easy decision: joining the MedicAlert® Safely Home® program,…

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Meet our Researchers: Simon Duchesne, Université Laval

Meet our Researchers: Simon Duchesne, Université Laval

As a biomedical engineer, I don’t have your typical background for someone researching Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. In fact, if you had told me 18 years ago that dementia would be my main field of research, I’d be surprised. Back then, I was most interested in diagnostic radiology—the field of medicine that uses imaging exams to aid in diagnosis—for the planning of epilepsy surgery.

Father’s Day 2018: What Dan learned from his Dad

Father’s Day 2018: What Dan learned from his Dad

It’s been four years since my dad, Denis, passed away after living with dementia for 11 years. My family and I did everything to make sure Dad enjoyed life, first during the early stages, and later when he lived in a care home. My experiences with my father inspired me to help others learn to appreciate quality time with a family member with dementia.

Meet our Researchers: Fernanda de Felice, Queen’s University

Meet our Researchers: Fernanda de Felice, Queen’s University

Who would I be without my memories? I consider the treatment of dementia to be one of the greatest current and future health challenges, and I am keen to find ways to protect the brain from the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease. However, there’s a lot we still don’t about this disease. I think a key step is to try to diagnose the disease as early as possible before a lot of damage occurs in the brain, so you’re able…

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MedicAlert® Safely Home® gives families living with dementia peace of mind

MedicAlert® Safely Home® gives families living with dementia peace of mind

It was a cold, rainy December morning in Vancouver when paramedics spotted a woman in wet clothes, looking out of place at a bus stop. Kathryn had been missing for 27 hours by then. Her daughter had dispatched a small army of friends to look for her after she failed to come home from her walk the previous morning. “It was brutal. I thought she was dead. The paramedics brought her to the hospital and they admitted her,” recalls her…

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