Raising Alzheimer Awareness and Recognising Canada’s Progress in Reducing Dementia
Known as the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to affect over a million Canadians.
However, last year became a moment of awakening – it came to light that the number of Canadians over the age of 65 were outnumbering young teens. More attention and care was therefore placed upon accounting for the constant needs and challenges of not only those suffering from dementia but their families too.
Support is imperative with this disease, especially considering the increasing age of the general population. Whilst it’s clear not all members of the older generation will develop Alzheimer’s, it’s certainly something that needs to be more widely spoken about and accepted in society.
The Burden of Alzheimer’s
In addition to the 1.1 million Canadians this disease is thought to affect, Alzheimer’s also results in a huge $10.4 billion in health-care costs every single year.
But, despite this colossal spend, thousands of Canadian families still feel they’re not receiving the necessary amount of support, care, and attention needed to have the best quality of life possible.
This further need for an increase in support and awareness led Canada to become the 30th country to adopt a specialist dementia strategy. Specifically implemented to address the scale, impact, and cost of dementia as a whole, this is a hugely positive step for Alzheimer’s.
In addition to the strategy implementation, overall incidences of dementia have actually shown a distinct decrease. In fact, cases of dementia have decreased an average of 20% every decade since 1977.
This is thought to be down to higher levels of education and a modern-day improvement in overall health.
The majority of Canadians today are able to live with reduced cardiovascular heart complications in addition to increased long-term heart health, signaling a general improvement in health as a whole that’s thought to strongly contribute to the dementia decrease.
Further Work to Be Done
Whilst overall dementia has declined, individual cases of Alzheimer’s have unfortunately not displayed such a positive decrease.
It’s no secret that there’s still no specific ‘cure’ for Alzheimer’s, however due to increased research, awareness and education, numerous strategies are now established here in Canada as a method of delaying or even preventing the disease.
Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding smoking are key steps in taking a lifetime approach to Alzheimer’s.
And, diet is thought to play a crucial part too. In fact, the Mediterranean diet, in particular, has come up positively in many research examples as being a successful prevention of dementia-related cognitive decline.
So, regularly eating foods such as oily fish, non-starchy vegetables and nuts could further reduce incidences of Alzheimer’s in addition to maintaining a generally healthy lifestyle – definitely something worth taking note of.
Whilst Alzheimer’s is still a challenge many Canadians are still facing on a daily basis, the significance of such challenges is being recognized and addressed with positive hopes for the future. And, whilst there’s no specific ‘cure’ for Alzheimer’s yet, the progress already made with this disease should not be ignored or forgotten, with many of today’s older generation living more fulfilling, happier lives.
It’s important to learn how to identify Alzheimer at the earlier stages