The national campaign for Alzheimer’s awareness is underway for the entire month of January taking the theme « Yes. I live with dementia. Let me help you understand. »
The Fédération québécoise des Sociétés Alzheimer (FQSA) and the Société Alzheimer du Suroît remind us that anyone with Alzheimer’s is a full member of society. People are not defined by their disease. He or she is the same person before and after receiving a diagnosis. They are human beings in need of human contact, compassion and friendship and we must all take responsibility in the face of this disease to support them with dignity and respect.
Yet, in spite of greater public awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, stigmatization and discrimination are two of the biggest obstacles faced by individuals with neurodegenerative disorders and their families. People living with Alzheimer’s sometimes feel excluded or treated differently because of the disease. As a result, some may not seek a diagnosis or help with stimulation aids or support and, above all, may hide the disease from those closest to them.
A mural unveiled
Part of the 2018 Campaign was the unveiling, on January 10, of phase 1 of a large mural created by artist John Ryan from Godmanchester in collaboration with people who have Alzheimer’s and are passionate about painting. It is being created as part of an art therapy activity.
This mural is intended to honour not only the resilience but also the many talents of those with Alzheimer’s disease. It also honours the more than 30 years of efforts by the 20 Alzheimer’s societies across Quebec that help those affected retain the best quality of life possible.
In the region:
For more than 20 years, the Société Alzheimer du Suroît has been offering services free of charge to people with neurocognitive disorders and their families and supporters. There are a variety of services available including information, support, training, respite and activities: call 1-877-773-0303. (M.P.-C.J.)
Highlights from the Léger national survey on Alzheimer’s awareness
Canadians believe that people living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia are likely to:
•be ignored or dismissed (58%);
•be taken advantage of (57%);
•have difficulty accessing appropriate services or support (56%); and
• meet with or fear distrust or suspicion (37%).
•56% of Canadians are concerned about being affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
•Of greatest concern is their fear of being a burden to others, losing their independence and the inability to recognize family and friends.
•Only 39% would offer support for family or friends who were open about their diagnosis.
•Three out of 10 Canadians (30%) admit to telling Alzheimer’s-related jokes.