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“I am a person with dementia and a person with rights.” (Part one)

“I am a person with dementia and a person with rights.” (Part one)

Part one: Becoming a force for change—Phyllis Fehr’s story This blog series is based on the webinar, “I am a person with dementia and a person with rights,” hosted by brainXchange and presented by Phyllis Fehr on December 13, 2017 (part one) and January 17, 2018 (part two). One day, Phyllis Fehr walked through the doors of a grocery store, and found confusion. Phyllis, who had been given a working diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s along with Lewy Body dementia at…

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“People living with Alzheimer’s disease are still people”

“People living with Alzheimer’s disease are still people”

Two Alzheimer’s diagnoses, decades apart, show how much has changed—and how much stays the same—when a family navigates dementia. Sharon and her mother, Esther, were very close. “My mother and I used to talk three times each day. One of the first signs that my mother might have dementia was when I noticed she would forget to call me.” The warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease were well-known to Sharon; it wasn’t the first time that her family had received the…

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Racing for memories

Racing for memories

Recently, my family has joined the unfortunate ranks of those who have been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. My mom started showing early signs of the disease a few years ago, and it has slowly and stubbornly progressed ever since. The toll that Alzheimer’s is taking on my mom is obvious and devastating. Less obvious, but just as significant, is the impact it is having on my dad. As my mom’s primary caregiver, it’s been said that my dad must ride…

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You can be that one to make a difference

You can be that one to make a difference

Did you know that over 210,000 people in Ontario are living with dementia? That over 564,000 Canadians are affected by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia today? We all know, or know of, someone affected by this disease. They are our neighbours, our friends, our grandparents and our uncles. They are someone in our life, and they are more than just a number. You can be that one to make a difference in the lives of those affected by dementia. By donating…

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CarePartners has taken action for dementia!

CarePartners has taken action for dementia!

With over 200,000 people in Ontario living with dementia today, we need an Ontario dementia strategy to make sure that our communities receive the support they need. The Alzheimer Society of Ontario has led the movement to have a fully-funded dementia strategy included in the Ontario government’s 2017 budget, and we are now awaiting the upcoming announcement of the budget. In support of our initiative, CarePartners has generously donated not only financially, but their time as well, to help build…

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‘We’re not running and hiding’: Couple confronts possibility of dementia head-on

‘We’re not running and hiding’: Couple confronts possibility of dementia head-on

When you’ve seen the effects of dementia before, noticing even minor changes in your cognitive abilities can be alarming. Both Yvon and Susanne lost their mothers to Alzheimer’s, so they’re no strangers to the disease. When Susanne began to show small signs of forgetfulness a few months ago, they immediately went to their doctor. After a series of tests, Susanne was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), which can be—although not always—a precursor to dementia. Susanne was given appropriate medication…

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It’s not always Alzheimer’s: One couple’s story of getting the ‘right’ diagnosis

It’s not always Alzheimer’s: One couple’s story of getting the ‘right’ diagnosis

David, a kind, quiet and intelligent man, connected to his family, with lots of friends, and very active in his community, started to become withdrawn and apathetic. His wife Wendy knew something wasn’t quite right. The Hughes sought help early, but much time passed before they found out that David has Lewy body dementia. Wendy became an advocate for her life partner. David was initially diagnosed with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. As she did more research, she wondered about the…

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1 million Dementia Friends wanted. Are you in?

1 million Dementia Friends wanted. Are you in?

Dementia Friends Canada is an Alzheimer Society and Government of Canada initiative to help Canadians better understand what it’s like to live with dementia and how they can help those with the disease remain active and carry on with their daily lives.

Al Burridge was a true Dementia Champion

Al Burridge was a true Dementia Champion

When the Alzheimer Society of Ontario began the Champions for Dementia initiative in 2010, we were seeking to engage people with lived experience of dementia in advocacy activities with their Members of Provincial Parliament (MPP) and the Ontario government. I remember receiving notice from the Alzheimer Society of Oxford that they had identified a perfect candidate to be their Dementia Champion – Al Burridge. From day one, Al was a model Dementia Champion. Soon after joining, Ontario had an election….

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My mother is living with Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s how getting a diagnosis has empowered us

My mother is living with Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s how getting a diagnosis has empowered us

My mother, Bruna was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in January of 2011. The disease was not unknown to her family. Three of her sisters died of complications resulting from this creeping and subtle sickness, as well as her paternal grandmother. Not long after the second time she had become disoriented while driving and her ever increasing lapses in recall, I decided to take her to visit her doctor. What if she ended up hurting herself, or worse, someone else? I could never forgive myself.