September 2020 will mark the 9th World Alzheimer’s Month. Every September is used to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia.
Dementia is a term used to describe different brain disorders that affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion.
There are over 100 forms of dementia. The most well-known form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for 50-60% of all cases. Other forms of dementia include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia.
Dementia affects 50 million people worldwide, with a new case of dementia occurring somewhere in the world every 3 seconds according to Alzheimer’s Disease International.
Dementia is often hidden away, not spoken about, or ignored at a time when the person living with dementia and their families are most in need of support.
Early symptoms of dementia can include memory loss, difficultly performing familiar tasks, problems with language and changes in personality.
Declining memory, especially short-term memory, is the most common early symptom of dementia. Occasionally everyone has trouble finding the right word but a person with dementia often forgets simple words.
Everyone can become sad or experience moody swings from time to time. A person with dementia may become unusually emotional and experience rapid mood swings for no apparent reason. Alternatively, a person with dementia may show less emotion than was usual.
Dementia can affect mental capacity to manage self-care and property (finances).
The stigmatization of dementia is a global problem and it is clear that the less we talk about dementia, the more the stigma will grow.
Here at GLA Rehab, we help families cope with the stigma.
Our main goal is to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their caregivers at home and in the community.
Our rehab team, including OT, SW, RT and PT is developing strategies to reduce caregiver burnout. We make sure that proper referrals are being made and that all medical and rehabilitation professionals are collaborating and managing the symptoms as a team.
We are also offering capacity assessment for managing self-care and property.