Alzheimer Society promotes the benefits of early diagnosis during national awareness month

CANADA—The Alzheimer Society of Canada is promoting the benefits of early diagnosis during national Alzheimer Awareness Month, citing that as many as 50 percent of Canadians with dementia wait too long for diagnosis.

“As many as 50 percent of Canadians with dementia are not diagnosed early enough, losing precious time when care and support can make a tremendous difference in their quality of life and help to avert unnecessary crises for their families,” states a press release from the Alzheimer Society.

“Fear and stigma continue to be huge barriers to seeking help,” the release continues. “In a recent Nanos survey, 60 percent of Canadians polled said it would be harder to disclose if they, or someone close to them, had Alzheimer’s disease compared to other diseases because of the social stigma associated with mental health issues.”

As part of this initiative, the Alzheimer Society is launching a new campaign, ‘Early diagnosis keeps your life from unraveling.’

“Seventy-four percent of Canadians know someone with dementia and more and more Canadians will continue to develop the disease. We want to make sure they’re getting the help they need at every stage of the disease,” said Lorraine LeBlanc, executive director, Société Alzheimer Society Sudbury-Manitoulin. “As devastating as the news can be, early diagnosis brings relief to families, gives them control over their situation and adds more years of living active and fulfilling lives.”

According to the Alzheimer Society’s website, 747,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, with this number expected to increase to 1.4 million in less than 20 years.

The next event will be the Walk for Memories to be held on Sunday, April 27 at the Terry Fox Sports Complex in Sudbury. For more information or to register as a participant visit www.walkformemories.ca

 Robin Burridge