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Making Waves

Fighting Off Dementia / Alzheimer's

Ross

By Ross Kentner

There are lots of reasons why I continue to work but I don't mind telling you, fear of Alzheimer's Disease is one of them.  There is no conclusive evidence that delaying retirement will forestall dementia but, for me, it's another good reason to keep doing what I love.  

Over half a million Canadians are living with dementia and that number is expected to double in the next fifteen years.  The simple fact is, we're living longer.  As we age and survive more diseases of the body, we have to expect more diseases of the mind.  It's very good news that attitudes are changing, and the stigma attached to dementia and other mental illnesses is diminishing.  Nevertheless, in a recent survey nearly half of Canadians said they don't want anybody to know if they're diagnosed with Alzheimer's.   

As a nation, we have to gear up for this tsunami of dementia sufferers.  It's very good news that we have local branches of the Alzheimer Society, that they're working with victims and their families now while preparing for higher case loads.  Kudos to the Grey Bruce Chapter which is featuring seven local dementia sufferers and six care partners in an exhibition of photography clearly demonstrating that a diagnosis of dementia does not put an end to living life fully.

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