It’s Alzheimer Awareness Month, so #LetsTalkMemory
Alzheimer disease affects not only individuals diagnosed, but also their families, friends and communities.
This January, during Alzheimer Awareness Month, Islanders are encouraged to learn more about Alzheimer’s and dementia, join the #LetsTalkMemory campaign, and help spread awareness and support for families who are affected by dementia.
“We continue to work with key organizations, such as the Alzheimer Society of PEI, to reduce the stigma of this disease,” said Health and Wellness Minister Robert Mitchell. ”It is important to encourage greater awareness and understanding of what it’s like to live with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.”
‘Let’s Talk Memory’ is an ongoing campaign to help raise public awareness and challenge the stigma of Alzheimer’s disease. Islanders are encouraged to share their story or journey with Alzheimer’s on social media and use the hashtag #LetsTalkMemory.
Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia are degenerative brain diseases that affect thinking, memory, mood, behaviour, and physical abilities. The disease has a profound impact on those living with it, as well as their families and friends.
“Many people when they think Alzheimer’s disease, they automatically associate it to memory loss – but it is so much more than that,” said Corrine Hendricken-Eldershaw, CEO Alzheimer’s Society of PEI. “By raising awareness and helping the public to become informed of the warning signs, symptoms and education available, we can work together to support people diagnosed, their care partners, and health care professionals, to build dementia friendly communities.”
A children’s colouring contest has also been launched for the month of January to help educate and engage young people in the conversation about dementia. Island children up to age 12 are invited to take part; their artwork will be on display at the Queen Elizabeth and Prince County Hospitals throughout the month of January. For more information on the colouring contest, visit Alzheimer Awareness Month Colouring Contest.
“The promotion of healthy and dignified aging is one of the top priorities of the provincial Action Plan for Seniors, Near Seniors, and Caregivers,” added Minister Mitchell. “This partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society is a step forward in enhanced coordination and cooperation between our community partners, government and Health PEI.”
Alzheimer societies across Canada provide programs and support services for care partners and people living with all forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.
Almost 40 percent of people over age 65 experience some form of memory loss.
• When there is no underlying medical condition causing this memory loss, it is known as age-associated memory impairment, which is considered a part of the normal aging process.
Tips for coping with normal age-related memory difficulties:
• Keep a routine
• Organize information (keep details in a calendar or day planner)
• Put items in the same spot (always put your keys in the same place by the door)
• Repeat information (repeat names when you meet people)
• Run through the alphabet in your head to help you remember a word
• Make associations (relate new information to things you already know)
• Involve your senses (if you are a visual learner, visualize an item)
• Teach others or tell them stories
• Get a full night's sleep
• Learn more about what you can do to maintain your brain health and strengthen your memory at www.alzpei.ca (Brain Health)
Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are not a part of normal aging.
However, it is possible to maintain quality of life while living with Alzheimer’s disease.
• With adequate assistance and support, people living with Alzheimer's can continue to do the things they love and remain active in their community for what can be many years.
Know the warning signs of Alzheimer Disease:
1. memory loss that affects day-to-day abilities;
2. difficulty performing familiar tasks;
3. problems with language;
4. disorientation in time and space;
5. impaired judgement;
6. problems with abstract thinking;
7. misplacing things;
8. changes in mood and behaviour;
9. changes in personality; and
10. loss of initiative.
If you are worried about your memory, or are experiencing the warning signs of Alzheimer disease, please talk to your family doctor, primary care provider or the Alzheimer Society of PEI at www.alzpei.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1-866-628-2257.