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Yes. I live with dementia. Let me help you understand: Lisa Raitt

Yes. I live with dementia. Let me help you understand: Lisa Raitt

Lisa Raitt, Member of Parliament for Milton, and her husband Bruce Wood, diagnosed with dementia at 56, live with dementia, and during Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, they’re sharing their story to help you understand. In 2015, Julianne Moore won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of a woman with young onset Alzheimer’s disease in the movie Still Alice.  I love movies and always have, but I rejected the notion of ever seeing this one. I was ignorant of what Alzheimer’s…

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Yes. I live with dementia. Let me help you understand: Robin Barrett

Yes. I live with dementia. Let me help you understand: Robin Barrett

Robin Barrett lives in Ottawa, Ontario, where she supports her husband, Keith, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016. My husband Keith was diagnosed with young onset dementia (YOD)—probable Alzheimer’s in December 2016 at 57 years old. This was following about two and a half years of seeing various specialists. At one point, he had seen about six different neurologists. Keith and I have been together since 2004 and married in June 2016. We eloped together in New Orleans and it…

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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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Brain Awareness Week: Mario’s three keys to living well

Brain Awareness Week: Mario’s three keys to living well

Mario Gregorio resides in British Columbia. He lives with dementia. An advocate for dementia awareness, Mario was one of the faces of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month this past January. I’m celebrating my 70th birthday this year. The best decision I’ve ever made in my life was to seek an early diagnosis. I felt that I needed to take control of my medical situation. And I’m glad I did. An early diagnosis allowed me to research more about dementia. I knew that…

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Let’s talk about dementia, mental illness and mental health

Let’s talk about dementia, mental illness and mental health

The last Wednesday of January is Bell Let’s Talk Day, an initiative to encourage conversations, increase awareness and end the stigma around mental illness. One aspect of the conversation that’s not often talked about is mental health among older adults and seniors, and how this intersects with dementia. So today, let’s talk about it. Here are five things you should know about dementia, mental illness and mental health: 1) Dementia caregivers experience higher rates of depression than all other caregivers….

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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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You are not alone!

You are not alone!

Life can change direction drastically when a family member or close friend is diagnosed with a chronic health condition like Alzheimer’s disease, another form of dementia, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s disease. Your suspicions that something is wrong have been confirmed; now, you have to figure out how to support the person. You may have never had personal experience with any of these conditions. Suddenly, you find yourself going along to doctor’s appointments and feeling as if the doctor is speaking…

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Life with young onset dementia: What you need to know

Life with young onset dementia: What you need to know

What comes to mind when you think of a person with dementia? If you’re like most people, you picture an elderly person in the later stages of the disease. But here’s the thing: dementia doesn’t just happen to older people. While age is still the biggest risk factor, people in their 50s, 40s and even 30s can also develop dementia. We call this young onset dementia and it accounts for about 2-8% of all dementia cases. Right now, 16,000 Canadians…

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AAIC 2017 reveals great strides in research

AAIC 2017 reveals great strides in research

By Nalini Sen, Director, Alzheimer Society Research Program I had the opportunity to attend this year’s annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in London, UK. This conference brings together some of the world’s leading researchers and clinicians in dementia treatment, detection and prevention. And with a record number of presentations—3300 in all—I have to admit, I was awestruck. Here are a few takeaways I would like to share with you: Stress can age your brain How we manage stress is even…

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