Today (and every day), ‘Let’s Talk Memory’
“Let’s Talk Memory” is a new campaign being launched to help raise public awareness and challenge the stigma of Alzheimer’s disease.
Beginning today (September 21) – which is the seventh-annual World Alzheimer's Day – Islanders can share their story or journey with Alzheimer’s on social media using the hashtag #LetsTalkMemory. Visit alzpei.ca for more information on dementia and to reach out for support.
Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia are degenerative brain diseases that affect thinking, memory, mood, behavior, and physical abilities. It is a disease that has a profound impact on those living with it, as well as their families and friends.
“Today, on World Alzheimer’s Day, let’s all take steps to better understand dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Together, we can discover ways to help people living with dementia as well as those who care for them,” said Health and Wellness Minister Robert Mitchell.
“We are so pleased to be partnering with the Alzheimer’s Society of PEI to help raise public awareness and get people talking about a disease which affects so many Islanders.”
The Let’s Talk Memory campaign will include targeted local and social media, posters, feature stories about Islanders and educational components to increase awareness of the risk factors and early signs of dementia.
“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. “This exciting, #LetsTalkMemory campaign is to invite Islanders to think about their brain health, have conversations with loved ones, and better understand Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss and much more. There are warning signs, risk factors, symptoms, and we are here to help.”
Prince Edward Island has an aging population, with more people living longer and healthier lives. An aging society is good news which offers new opportunities, but it brings challenges as well – including an increase in Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Today, the latest data show that over half a million Canadians are living with dementia, and that number is expected to increase.
“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 people with all forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, and their caregivers.
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 alzpei.ca
Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are not a part of normal aging.
Life goes on after an Alzheimer's diagnosis is received, and it is possible to maintain quality of life while living with the 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.
Age-associated memory impairment and dementia can be told apart in a number of ways.
The early signs of Alzheimer’s disease are:
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 behavior;
9. changes in personality; and
10. loss of initiative.
If you are worried about your memory, or are experiencing the early signs of Alzheimer’s, please talk to your family doctor, primary care provider or the Alzheimer Society of PEI.