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dementia

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