May 10, 2022
Written by Tagan Mani, Marketing and Communications Assistant
The month of September marks Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and thatâ€™s why, if you have been following us on social media, you would have noticed we have been posting about Alzheimer’s awareness to help reach more people about the cause and why brain health is so important.
Truth is, Alzheimer’s can or does impact us all. Alzheimer’s Society Canada stated that 1.1 million Canadians are affected directly or indirectly by the disease. If that stat is not alarming enough, Alzheimer’s Association reports that there will be a projected amount of 13.8 million people age 65 and older to have Alzheimer’s dementia by 2050. To learn more about Alzheimer’s signs, stages and tips for caregivers, read our previous blog post here.
Dementia does not discriminate based on the colour of your skin, your profession, or any other factor beyond your control. That is why, when loved ones with dementia are receiving care, it is imperative that the activities you do are truly meaningful to them, since the more personalized it is, the more beneficial it will be.
If you are uncertain on what meaningful activities/engagement are, the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada defines it as a person-centred approach which encourages and invites people with dementia to purposefully participate in the work of an organization to which they belong. When participating, the activities should involve them contributing ideas, skills, and abilities while being mindful that their participation would vary, depending on what their current abilities are along with the personal history they have. This is important because Alzheimer’s has a critical impact on one’s behaviour, memory, and senses. Which is why, at times, activities that people living with dementia used to enjoy they can now find overwhelming. It is also important to ensure that the staff who provides care are also knowledgeable, attentive, and encouraging.
Alzheimers.net notes that meaningful and stimulating activities can encourage self-expression, lessen anxiety and irritability, assist with emotional connections and memories while making your loved one feel more engaged. Stimulating activities can include baking, arts and crafts, puzzles, playing music and gardening. In later stages, simple and familiar activities like folding laundry, caring for a baby doll by dressing and changing diapers, or even washing dishes can give individuals with dementia a sense of purpose and belonging.
At SCHC, we offer different programs that provide help to those impacted with dementia or may be experiencing some early signs. Our two programs that focuses on this are the Adult Day Centre and the Active Minds Social Club (in partnership with Alzheimer Society of Toronto), respectively. In our Adult Day Centre, we serve individuals, over the age of 65 who have been diagnosed with dementia, with full days of meaningful activities such as music and art therapy and chair yoga, plus events to celebrate birthdays and holidays. Our Active Minds Social Club also provides stimulating activities but caters to those who have been diagnosed before the age of 65, living with young onset dementia. Both programs also give respite for their caregivers. See our website for more details on these programs.
The statistics and impact Alzheimer’s has can be scary, but that is why it is crucial that we and our loved ones should become more educated about Alzheimer’s and what preventative actions we can take. See our recent Instagram post below for highlights from a recent study that states 12 things that one can do to lower the risk of dementia. To learn more about Alzheimer’s prevention read a prior blog post written by Joanne, our Community Caregiver Wellness Coordinator, and a former educator for Alzheimer’s Society of Toronto.
We hope that reading this post helped you become more informed about Alzheimer’s, what you can do to help prevent it, and what SCHC does for our community who have been impacted by it. Despite not having a cure yet for Alzheimer’s, there are many options we can take to help the united fight against Alzheimer’s.
To learn more about our programs related to Alzheimer’s please feel free to contact us via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone: (416)-847-4134