Twenty per cent of older adults live with a mental health issue. In Calgary alone, that equates to over 21,000 older adults, with between 1,000 and 2,000 living with severe and persistent psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia and delusional disorder. These figures do not take into account individuals between 45 and 65 who have lived a higher-risk lifestyle and been intermittently homeless. Such individuals age more quickly than the general population, and often present as "functionally geriatric" well before the age of 65.
A new study published in the journal Neurology suggests that a simple test measuring how fast people walk and whether they have cognitive complaints can predict later problems with dementia. The developed assesment will potentially allow for many more people to know whether they are at risk without complex testing.
What I've learned through my research or from my colleagues about the prevention and management of dementia is this: Even if we face a family history of Alzheimer's disease and are therefore more vulnerable to dementia, we can prevent the onset of its symptoms, like memory loss and confusion, or its progression.
My autistic son wasn't born because God was pissed off at America. My son was born because he was meant to be born, just as he is. My son was born so that I could learn how to be a better human being. He was born so he could teach me how to communicate without words. He was born so that I could learn how to listen with my heart and see things through touch.
Kay asks: My husband has dementia and the symptoms are getting so bad that I feel like a prisoner in my own home. I am embarrassed to take him to our daughter's house for fear of what he might do or say. I don't want our kids or grandkids to see him act this way. I am not prepared for these changes and I don't know if I can manage for much longer.
Rebecca asks: My grandmother is getting older and was recently diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's Disease. She is still very healthy and independently living on her own. We have talked about her desire to remain at home and independent for as long as she can. How can we keep her safe in her home?