Friday, 21 September 2012

World Alzheimer's Day & Wandering Survey

September had been designated as World Alzheimer's Month and September 21 is World Alzheimer's Day. 
Wandering is a huge issue for people with Alzheimer's disease and I was recently advised that the Alzheimer Society has been tasked with working on this issue (they already have Safely Home, a wandering registry). I was asked to participate in a short survey and provide feedback. 

I loved having the opportunity not only talk about my personal experience (which I, luckily, didn't have) but also add input to what I felt was needed in the program. I strongly believe that we need to work closely with police and other emergency personnel to educate them on this disease, the importance of starting a search for a missing person with the disease ASAP and have it be taken seriously and train them on how to handle people who have dementia. I was so happy to have had the opportunity to offer insight.

On Monday, I wrote about Alzheimer's Facts & Stats. As a human being, you have a 12% chance of developing Alzheimer's disease or other dementia. If you have a family member with the disease, your chances increase to 30%. I am in that 30%. 
Dementia cannot be prevented.

As an advocate for Alzheimer's disease, I can never stress enough the importance of supporting research and the work of local Alzheimer Societies and Associations. The work that they do is much needed. Not only do they offer support to caregivers, but they also offer support to people in early stages, allowing them to continue living life, providing them with socialization and meaningful experiences.

I have experienced this disease first hand with my grandfather. And knowing the stats, that 30%, I know chances are I will be a caregiver to my parents and that I ave a good chance of developing this disease. 
In 2010, the global cost to society for dementia care was $604 billion (US dollars).

We should be encouraging our politicians and government to create a national dementia plan. The Alzheimer Society of Canada recommends: increase dementia research, provide support for caregivers, promote prevention and early intervention, integrated system of care, strengthen and supplement Canada's dementia workforce.

Alzheimer's disease is not just memory loss. There are 10 warning signs
For World Alzheimer's Day, or any day, contact you local Alzheimer Society/Association and see what you can do: volunteer, donate or even advocacy. Every bit helps and counts. Help spread the word put an end to Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.



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