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We are Thankful for You!

We are Thankful for You!

Thanksgiving Fall Couple

Fall is a spectacular time of year in Ontario! The leaves begin to change and despite the air getting a bit cooler, time spent with family and friends makes it clear that this time of year is full of warmth.

Thank you!

This season of Thanksgiving we are reminded of how grateful we are for our family of supporters at Alzheimer Society of Ontario. Whether you have supported us through an event, are a monthly donor, subscribe to our blog, volunteer, have remembered us in your Will or have #RaisedAMug for Alzheimer’s – WE THANK YOU!

Your generosity helps to change the lives of 564,000 people across Ontario affected by dementia. Our province is home to world-leading researchers working to halt or treat this disease. Others are finding ways, both practical and inventive, to improve quality of life for caregivers.

Here are some of the ways you have impacted Alzheimer’s research.

Unlocking the mysteries of the brain

Since 1989, we’ve awarded more than $50 million in grants to researchers across Canada through the Alzheimer Society Research Program.

Over the duration of the program, these researchers have helped to:

  • Identify potential new drugs to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Develop techniques to distinguish different forms of dementia using neuroimaging, enabling more targeted treatments for people with dementia
  • Show how diet and other lifestyle choices may delay the disease
  • Develop technologies to enhance the quality of life, care and safety for people affected by the disease
  • Improve care delivery in the community and in long-term care settings


Meet a Researcher

Thanks to support from our donors and the Alzheimer Society Research Program, Dr. Frank Rudzicz, is currently developing artificial intelligence software to help people with dementia that experience difficulty communicating with others.

Frank Rudzicz
Pictured above: Dr. Frank Rudzicz

Dr. Rudzicz has designed voice-based software to “converse” with a person and assess their speech for this language disability and for language problems associated with memory loss. Pilot tests show it gives accurate and early diagnoses.

Changes in the brain resulting in dementia begin up to 25 years before most symptoms appear. Rudzicz thinks his software could help catch those changes early so people can get treatment at this stage.

You can learn more about his project by visiting his researcher profile or by watching his research video.

This incredible research and others like that being done by Dr. Rudzicz would not be possible without you. Thank you again for your wonderful support!


Ten caregiver tips for Thanksgiving dinner

Ten caregiver tips for Thanksgiving dinner

I love having the family over for Thanksgiving. It’s a treat to catch up and exchange stories. But I’m also a caregiver and those duties can never be ignored. My mother has Alzheimer’s disease and lives at home with me.

Including a person with dementia in a social gathering can be challenging, but also rewarding. Although my mother enjoys socializing, she isn’t the only one who has difficulty communicating with others. Sometimes friends and family feel uncertain of what to say when speaking to someone with dementia.

To help ensure a fun family gathering, here are some tips to help both people with dementia and their families:

  1. Have her sleep in or take a nap in the afternoon to make sure she is rested for the gathering.
  2. If she is still able, get her to help prepare the meal with simple tasks, like peeling potatoes.
  3. Limit the number of guests to around ten so she is not overwhelmed.
  4. Limit loud music as it’s distracting
  5. Make sure she sits at the table to help her feel part of the group.
  6. Encourage family not to be shy. My mother always enjoyed when people spoke to her and not just the group.
  7. Share tips with the family to improve communication, like being aware of their body language, smiling and using humour.
  8. Be flexible and respond to mood changes. If she appears restless or irritated, take her away from the party for a break.
  9. Ask for her help with cleaning up after the meal.
  10. As the evening winds down, consider an activity better suited for someone with dementia, like looking through old family photos, which can stimulate reminiscence.


For more help for mealtimes, visit our website.

sharonSharon Roszel