People with lived experience like myself have historically been excluded from being on the same committees, councils and boards as the people who are in charge of making decisions that will affect and impact people like us the most. After many years of waiting, we're finally starting to see organizations comprised solely of people with lived experience and -- even more rarely -- bodies with representation from patients, their families and healthcare professionals. It has always puzzled me as to how you could have committees and councils dedicated to patients with mental illness without having anybody from their community on them -- and it appears those who are working to improve Canada's health system are realizing this as well.
Navigating through an airport with a family member who has Alzheimer's can be a nail-biting excursion. Unfamiliar surroundings heighten confusion, impair the ability to follow directions and trigger agitation -- none of which you want to experience as you're getting body-scanned by airport security. Here's how to get through it all with as little hassle as possible.
I recently paid $50 to attend a preview screening of the movie, Still Alice. The film was to start at 7 p.m. But it began 40 minutes late. Not only did executives of each of the sponsors insist on their (equal) time at the podium, but, much like victims of an interminable home invasion, the 500 of us in the audience had to endure "greetings" from three different politicians. Why do we put up with this?
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.