News that Spirit of the West vocalist, John Mann, has early onset Alzheimer's is the latest in a series of wake up calls that Canada needs to get ready for a burgeoning incidence of dementia as the population ages. The percentage of people afflicted may not be increasing but the sheer size of the boomer generation reaching the vulnerable age bands is a challenge that Canada's healthcare system has yet to meet. It is already on the minds of many: three-quarters of CARP members polled were touched by dementia, and most (81 per cent) think Canada is not prepared for it as boomers age.
Being overweight is associated with multiple negative health effects, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Conversely, weight loss can lower the risk of developing such illnesses, or lighten their burden. Now, a new study from Brazil found that besides physical improvements, slimming down can also produce positive outcomes for the mind.
Yes, when I write about how a caregiver should take care of him or herself, I am talking to myself as well as to others. I know how hard it is. For two years, I did not leave my husband. Like so many others, I postponed my own doctor's appointments telling myself I didn't have the time, and turning down invitations from friends. But firm words from two doctor friends helped me decide to take the occasional afternoon for myself.
I don't think of myself as a caregiver -- I am a wife, honoring the vows I took so many years ago. I have had the better, and the richer -- ( speaking of experiences and not money). Now I am living through their opposites: the sickness, and the poorer -- (in this case both experiences and money: Alzheimer's is expensive).
It's frightening to learn that almost 70 per cent of new Alzheimer's sufferers will be women, but research today still focuses on men. Even today, at the grass roots level of research, it is the male rat that's studied because the hormones in the female rat make it too complex.That really got me thinking: if this is something Canadian women think about then obviously so do women all over the world. So the Women's Brain Health Initiative was born.