Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: Dispelling Common Myths
January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in Canada. Because of our ongoing work with the Alzheimer’s Society of British Columbia, this event is close to our hearts here at Retirement Concepts.
Did you know that over 700,000 Canadians live with Alzheimer’s disease and that 25,000 more people are diagnosed with it every year? Despite the prevalence of this disease and other forms of dementia, misconceptions about it still exist. Here are the top myths about Alzheimer’s and the facts behind them.
Myths & Facts
- Myth: Alzheimer’s is a normal part of aging
Fact: While a bit of memory loss is normal as one gets older, the cognitive and physical degeneration that occurs in those with Alzheimer’s disease isn’t a normal part of aging.
- Myth: Only the elderly are affected by Alzheimer’s
Fact: Most people with Alzheimer’s are older than 65, but it can affect people in their 40’s and 50’s too. Called early- or young-onset Alzheimer’s, this is the only form of the disease that’s thought to be hereditary.
- Myth: Alzheimer’s isn’t treatable
Fact: While there is no cure for the disease, there are treatments available that may slow the symptoms of Alzheimer’s from progressing. There are also a few medications that have been shown to help with the cognitive issues associated with the diseases. Furthermore, physical and mental exercise may be beneficial.In the later stages, therapies involving music, animals and touch may help to reduce stress and even temporarily bring back a bit of cognitive function.
- Myth: Everyone with Alzheimer’s becomes aggressive
Fact: Not everyone with the disease becomes violent or aggressive. However, when they do, it’s often due to fear, confusion and frustration. Caregivers can help by creating a calm environment and learning to respond to these behaviours.
- Myth: An Alzheimer’s diagnosis means your life is over
Fact: Many people with Alzheimer’s live full, meaningful lives for many years after diagnosis. Some even use their experiences to advocate for others with the disease and to dispel the stigma surrounding it.
Care when you need it
Many people with dementia and Alzheimer’s are able to live independently or with a caregiver for some time after diagnosis. However, they may eventually need more help than is possible at home. Many of the Retirement Concepts senior living facilities offer complex care services and dementia care. Our residents have access to this 24 hours a day.
Find out why we’re so nice to come home to
Retirement Concepts has locations all across British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec. Contact a community relations manager at a home near you to book a tour today.