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Open house held locally for World Alzheimer’s Day

September 29, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Peter Richardson

Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Senility – these three words mean the same thing to many people today.

For many, of a certain age, when someone began to show signs of losing some of their cognitive functions, they were said to be becoming senile. Today, the term has been replaced by either Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, yet for many the result is the same.

Sept. 21 is World Alzheimer’s Day, a day to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and its effects on daily life for those who suffer from them.

In Orangeville, the Alzheimer’s Society of Dufferin County held an open house, in conjunction with the day, to raise awareness within our own community and present the support options available.

Executive Director of the organization, Carmeline Cicuto and her team at the local offices, located at 25 Centennial Drive, offer a variety of options for some 1,500 people suffering from Alzheimer’s in Dufferin County.

Her team of First Link coordinators offer support in a variety of ways, such as counselling, behavioural support and in home support to their 500 clients in Dufferin County. There is also awareness and education available. The local Alzheimer’s Society offers geriatric resource consultants to assist in complex cases.

Most of the clients are seniors, primarily due to the problems in diagnosing the illness early. There are many things which can lead to dementia, such as falls, head injuries, depression and such. But all is not lost with a diagnosis of early onset Alzheimers or dementia. There are ways to slow down the progression of the disease.

Exercising your brain with new cognitive exercises such as learning a new language or instrument, staying socially connected with friends and family, eating a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables, whole grains and nuts, and visiting your doctor regularly can all prove beneficial.

It goes without saying, to protect your head from injury, but being physically active, quitting smoking, and reducing one’s intake of alcohol are also important. Even taking care of your hearing and wearing hearing aids, if required, can help.

The signs of dementia are something to be watchful for too. Forgetting details from recent events, becoming frequently lost or lost in familiar places, pausing often and using substitutions for words or an increase in slurred speech and other language problems – these are all indications of possible problems. So too are unpredictable changes in mood and behaviour, difficulties with remembering everyday tasks, like paying bills or shopping, and difficulty following or taking part in conversations can indicate a need for concern.

Many people with Alzheimer’s can live long lives after diagnosis with a little help from others and their families. It is not a sentence to be served in an institution.

If you or someone you love is having difficulties like those above, go to your doctor or drop into the Alzheimer’s Society offices. They will be more than willing to talk with you and offer advice. They are there to help.



         


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