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Alzheimer’s in Canada’s Seniors and Treatments

Alzheimer’s is considered a form of dementia, a group of symptoms associated with the loss of cognitive and behavioral functioning, which ultimately interfere with daily life. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, since 2000, heart disease-related deaths have decreased 14%, while Alzheimer’s-related deaths have increased 89%.

Research has indicated that there are several ways that older adults (and those of all ages) can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline – many of which are beneficial for other aspects of the body. Encourage your aging loved ones to incorporate the following best practices into their lifestyle.

It’s important to talk to your senior loved one about the signs of Alzheimer’s. As of 2016, there are an estimated 564,000 Canadians living with dementia – plus about 25,000 new cases diagnosed every year.

Due to Canada’s growing number of seniors, many of whom are afflicted with Alzheimer’s and dementia, wandering is increasing. Even in familiar places, a person with Alzheimer’s may not remember his or her name or address, and can become disoriented. Wandering with dementia is dangerous, but there are strategies and services to help prevent it.

Sundowning is a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, most often affecting people who have mid- and late-stage dementia. Confusion and agitation worsen in the late afternoon and evening when the sun goes down, and symptoms are less pronounced earlier in the day. Sundowning is also called “late-day confusion.”

Seniors and elders with Alzheimer’s or dementias don’t only have difficulty expressing thoughts and emotions, but also have trouble understanding others. Here are some ways to help you be successful at communicating with seniors and elders dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

More than 15 percent of Canadians 65 and older now have Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) according to the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada, and 95% percent of all elderly people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias had at least one other chronic medical condition. This article helps elder caregivers who are assisting seniors with Alzheimer’s or other chronic conditions and diseases.

Pet therapy has been shown to be particularly helpful to Alzheimer’s patients and those affected by other dementias. Pets, and dogs in particular, can calm those affected by dementia, help them stay active, and help them stay social through interactions with passersby who cannot resist these fuzzy companions.

In Canada alone there are more than 750,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. One-in-five Canadians age 45 and over are providing some form of care to seniors who have long-term health problems. These unpaid family members are performing a great service to both the individuals with dementia and society as a whole, but they pay a hefty price with their own wellbeing and an increased financial burden.

Ensuring that your senior loved one remains as self-sufficient as possible, and yet safe around the house requires a delicate balance. For those caring for a person with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, that challenge increases ten-fold. Caregivers providing care for someone with Alzheimer’s must be diligent about identifying potential dangers in the home.

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