Canada Dementia

A Drink To Brain Health? Don't Make It A Double

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre | Posted 02.10.2017 | Canada Living
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Does alcohol consumption prevent Alzheimer's disease? The studies looking at alcohol use are generally observational in nature. They pick a given population without dementia, ask them about their alcohol intake, and then follow them over time to see who develops dementia.

Conversation Prompts For People With Dementia

Gail Elliot | Posted 02.06.2017 | Canada
Gail Elliot

As discussed in previous blogs, communicating with people who are living dementia can sometimes be difficult. I want to thank those of you who told us...

Can Alzheimer's Disease Be Prevented?

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre | Posted 01.27.2017 | Canada Living
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

In spite of decades of intense and costly research, Alzheimer's disease cannot be prevented, its inevitable progression cannot be halted, and even its symptoms cannot be dramatically improved. Research continues however, though this past year has seen a large number of very notable treatment failures, with drugs, vaccines and non-drug interventions.

Living Close To Heavy Traffic May Increase Dementia Risk: Study

CP | Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press | Posted 01.05.2017 | Canada Living

While the study can't prove it's a direct cause, previous research has found that air pollutants can get into the bloodstream and lead to inflammation.

How To Create Holiday Joy For Someone With Dementia

Gail Elliot | Posted 12.12.2016 | Canada Living
Gail Elliot

The hustle and bustle of the holidays often brings people together. This can be a problem for those who are challenged by memory loss. While the person with dementia may recognize someone's face, they may struggle to remember the person's name. Nametags can help to address this frustration.

Maintaining Meaningful Conversations With People Living With Dementia

Gail Elliot | Posted 11.28.2016 | Canada Living
Gail Elliot

Do you find it difficult to maintain a conversation with older adults who are living with dementia? Many people find that once they get past talking about the weather, how they slept that night or what they had to eat today, they struggle to find ways to stimulate conversation in a way that is meaningful, interesting and mutually rewarding.

Probiotics May Help Alzheimer's Patients

Jason Tetro | Posted 11.21.2016 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg The premise of a microbial-brain link suggests restoring gut microbial balance might be able to improve a healthy brain. Yet, figuring out the best method to accomplish this goal has been a challenge. One of the more promising routes involves fecal transplantation. Yet this method has yet to gain significant approval and has not been tested in regards to Alzheimer's disease.

People Living With Dementia Need Their Feelings Validated

Gail Elliot | Posted 11.18.2016 | Canada Living
Gail Elliot

There are times when some people with dementia just want to talk about the frustrations they are experiencing in the moment. These people are in need of chatting about the circumstances related to where they believe they are now.

Philpott Brought To Tears While Discussing Father's Dementia

CP | Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press | Posted 11.15.2016 | Canada Politics

By 2031, it is estimated 1.4 million Canadians will develop dementia — up from 750,000 in 2011.

Constant Distraction May Cause Memory Loss

Timi Gustafson, R.D. | Posted 10.19.2016 | Canada Living
Timi Gustafson, R.D.

You don't have to be a senior to experience a "senior moment," meaning you forget an otherwise familiar word or name, or can't exactly remember what you planned to do the next minute. It happens throughout life, it just seems to happen more frequently with age. But it's not always due to mental decline in our later years that we lose track of things.

The Value Of Roles And Routines In Dementia Care

Gail Elliot | Posted 10.11.2016 | Canada Living
Gail Elliot

The main reason we want to put chores, roles or tasks back into the world of those living with dementia is that each person needs to enjoy a life filled with meaning and purpose, regardless of physical and mental health. My favourite expression, which speaks to this, is "The purpose of life, is a life with purpose."

Elderly B.C. Couple That Was Forced To Live Apart Reunited

CP | The Canadian Press | Posted 09.26.2016 | Canada British Columbia

They hadn't spent more than a few days apart in decades.

Will You Get Alzheimer's If Your Parent Has The Disease?

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre | Posted 09.14.2016 | Canada Living
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Let's start with some basic numbers. Excellent data from Canada indicates that eight per cent of people over the age of 65 will be diagnosed with dementia, and about two-thirds of those will have Alzheimer's disease. The risk of developing Alzheimer's disease doubles for every five years of life beyond age 65, making older age one of the most significant and predictable risk factors.

Can Activities Reduce Behavioural Symptoms Of Dementia?

Gail Elliot | Posted 09.09.2016 | Canada
Gail Elliot

Shortly after my latest blog, entitled "I'm Engaged," I was delighted and honoured to receive an email from Dr. Laura Gitlin, Professor & Director of ...

When Should You Consider A Nursing Home For Your Spouse With Alzheimer's?

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre | Posted 08.09.2016 | Canada Living
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Placement in long-term care is one of the more difficult decisions facing caregivers of patients with dementia. Let me start by stating that my personal bias is to try and keep my patients at home as long as possible, assuming that their safety and health, as well as the caregiver's health, is compatible with this goal.

Why Do We React So Differently To A Diagnosis Of Dementia?

Gail Elliot | Posted 07.18.2016 | Canada Living
Gail Elliot

Have you ever wondered why some people will acknowledge that they have dementia, yet others will clearly deny there is anything wrong? Why do some people argue with the diagnosis? Why do some people know they have dementia but refuse to tell anyone? Why do some discuss openly? Let's explore.

Dementia And Driving: When It's Time To Hang Up The Keys

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre | Posted 07.12.2016 | Canada Living
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

As a memory doctor, the most difficult thing I have to do is to tell the patient and their family about the diagnosis of dementia. The second most difficult thing I have to do is recommend driving cessation. There's no question that driving cessation has potentially dramatic effects on independence and quality of life for patients (and their spouses).

Here's Why Canada Needs A National Dementia Strategy

Dr. William E. Reichman | Posted 07.05.2016 | Canada Living
Dr. William E. Reichman

Here's the sobering truth: despite close to 40 years of substantial private and public investment, society has not come up with any meaningful medication to help those with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Today, some 750,000 Canadians live with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

Alternative Living Arrangements Put Seniors In Control

AlzLIVE | Posted 05.05.2016 | Canada Living
AlzLIVE

Torge, then in her 40s, was fed up with the way she saw facilities for seniors organized. To her they were dreary, patronizing, dull. While she wasn't nearly old enough to live in one herself, she wanted change before she got there. For her, the only solution was to get radical.

Modern Estate Planning Should Reflect A Changing Society

Suzana Popovic-Montag | Posted 04.29.2016 | Canada Business
Suzana Popovic-Montag

In recent years, an aging population and the rise of non-traditional marriages have become issues that are increasingly relevant to estate planning considerations in Canada. As society shifts over time, it is important that estate planning methods and strategies are capable of adaptation to suit changing needs.

Acknowledging The Silent Contributions Of Personal Support Workers

Gail Elliot | Posted 04.26.2016 | Canada Living
Gail Elliot

Personal Support Workers attend to the diverse needs of individuals who rely heavily on the help of others. They have a variety of roles including caring for a person's hygiene, making sure they are nourished, dressed, toileted, validated, comfortable and happy. Most importantly, PSWs may be the only human connection some individuals receive in a single day. Yet, while they are offering their valuable support, it can feel thankless when trying to bathe and clean an uncooperative incontinent person, soothe the irritable and feed the ungrateful who are not longer able to do things themselves.

Financial Habits To Honour For Your Loved One With Alzheimer's

AlzLIVE | Posted 04.19.2016 | Canada Living
AlzLIVE

When it comes to the smaller financial activities, such as the purchase of a birthday gift, some may feel that if the one with dementia cannot remember the occasion then it is no longer necessary to give a gift. After all, what they don't know won't hurt them -- right?

Showing Compassion: Doll Therapy And Dementia

Gail Elliot | Posted 04.04.2016 | Canada Living
Gail Elliot

The needs related to love; comfort and belonging are too often unmet in those living with dementia. A doll can provide comfort and an opportunity to nurture and love.

The Risky Concept Of Mental Illness Assisted Suicide

Harvey Max Chochinov | Posted 03.28.2016 | Canada Politics
Harvey Max Chochinov

The Parliament's Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Death, nevertheless, urged the federal government not to exclude individuals with psychiatric conditions from being considered eligible. Their reasoning comes down to this: Mental suffering is no less profound than physical suffering, so denying individuals with mental illness access to physician hastened death would be discriminatory and a violation of their Charter rights. It's an excellent point, and one worth seriously discussing.

10 Common Myths About Dementia

Gail Elliot | Posted 01.06.2017 | Canada Living
Gail Elliot

It is important to correct the person with dementia when they say things that are not true - FALSE. The cardinal rule is "never argue with a person with dementia". A person with dementia is simply taking files from their memory bank that come from another place and time. They are sure they are telling the truth.