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Tag: personal story

The world doesn’t end when you have Alzheimer’s: Isabel and Michael’s story

The world doesn’t end when you have Alzheimer’s: Isabel and Michael’s story

Isabel, a retired teacher, and Michael, a military veteran, live in Victoria, British Columbia. Happily married for more than 50 years, they first met at a mess hall in Greenwood, Nova Scotia, in 1961. Today, Isabel is living with Alzheimer’s disease. Here, Michael tells the story of their life after diagnosis. My wife, Isabel, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in January 2011. At that time, she was 70 years old. I had been aware for a year or so that…

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What Canadians are saying: Why does a fully-funded national dementia strategy matter?

What Canadians are saying: Why does a fully-funded national dementia strategy matter?

Though the national dementia strategy has been announced, more work needs to be done. Not only does the strategy need to be fully funded, we also must ensure that it remains a top issue in Ottawa throughout and beyond the federal election in October. We asked people living with dementia, caregivers and researchers for their thoughts on why a fully-funded national dementia strategy matters. Here’s what they have to say: It will foster a network of support for people with…

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Father’s Day: Why Alyssa’s Dad is her hero

Father’s Day: Why Alyssa’s Dad is her hero

Alyssa Malette lives in Ottawa, Ontario. For this Father’s Day, Alyssa talks about her personal hero—her Dad, Vince, who lives with dementia. My story is about someone who has been my hero from the very beginning of my life. My Dad, Vince Malette, is 58 years old. He’s a brother, a husband to his wife Joana of 34 years, a father, a grandfather and a friend to many. For a number of years, my Dad was also a very successful…

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Why I walk in the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s

Why I walk in the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s

The IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s is Canada’s biggest fundraiser for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, raising over $5 million in 2018. These funds support local Alzheimer Society programs and services that improve quality of life for people living with dementia and their families. This spring, thousands of Canadians will participate in Walk events taking place in over 300 communities across the country. We asked four of these Canadians to share their thoughts on why they participate in the…

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Brain Awareness Week: How a DIY project helped Paul challenge his brain

Brain Awareness Week: How a DIY project helped Paul challenge his brain

Paul Lea, lives in Toronto, Ontario, and was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2009. Paul has since become a dementia advocate, spreading awareness on issues facing people living with dementia. By Paul Lea Every morning, I say, “thank you” for being alive. It’s my way of keeping my perspective in check. Since my diagnosis, I’ve had to learn my limits, but I’ve also accomplished things that no one would have expected. Over the past decade, I’ve left my old life…

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“Do the right thing.” Challenging stigmas and stereotypes against dementia.

“Do the right thing.” Challenging stigmas and stereotypes against dementia.

Irene Fantopoulos lives in Toronto, Ontario. Besides working for the Ontario Public Service, she also is a caregiver for her mother, Mary. After reading about #ilivewithdementia.ca, Irene was inspired to tell her own story regarding her experiences with stigma against people living with dementia and their caregivers. By Irene Fantopoulos I recently wrote an article for the Ontario Public Service about my mother Mary. Mom has a mixed diagnosis of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Her condition is compounded by…

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My dementia caregiver journey: An unexpected path to enlightenment

My dementia caregiver journey: An unexpected path to enlightenment

I’ve read plenty of articles about how dementia changes the person diagnosed with it; but a commentary on how the dementia journey changes you, a loving family member, friend or caretaker, is much harder to come by. That being said, I’ve come across valuable guidance on how to interact with a person with dementia (Teepa Snow), the benefits of caretaker “self-care” (it is a marathon, not a race), the raw emotional impact (Jann Arden), and insights regarding all stages of…

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

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

Keith Barrett, 59, lives in Ottawa, Ontario with his wife Robin. For over 20 years, Keith has co-owned a business supporting adults and children with developmental and physical disabilities. He continues to work full-time. Keith was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in December 2016. The news was that I had young onset dementia (YOD)—specifically, Alzheimer’s—was difficult news to hear and I couldn’t believe it. I was retested in the spring of 2018 as I did not present as having young onset,…

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