September is World Alzheimer's Month, a time when we highlight Alzheimer's disease and dementia, the challenges that come with it, and the support needed for individuals and their families. In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of World Alzheimer's Month and how we are supporting this cause at Bergen Gardens.
What Is Alzheimer's Disease?
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive and irreversible brain disorder that affects one's memory, thinking, and behaviour. It is the most common cause of dementia worldwide. While age is the primary risk factor, genetic factors and lifestyle choices can also play a role in its development.
The main risk factor is age, with the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's increasing after 65. However, family history and genetics also play a role, as certain genes have an increased risk of developing the disease.
Diagnosing Alzheimer's typically involves a comprehensive assessment of a person's cognitive and memory functions. Having an early diagnosis can be crucial for managing the condition effectively.
There is no cure for Alzheimer's; however, many lifestyle choices may reduce the risk of developing it. Medications and lifestyle changes can help manage symptoms and slow the progression. Some of these include staying mentally active, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy diet. Care and support from healthcare professionals and caregivers are also essential for enhancing the quality of life for individuals living with Alzheimer's.
What Is World Alzheimer's Month?
History of the event
World Alzheimer's Month was started in 2012 by Alzheimer's Disease International, and it has raised awareness each September since. This initiative raises awareness about Alzheimer's and dementia, challenges stigma, and encourages governments and individuals to act to support those affected.
What happens during this month?
This month, around the world, Alzheimer's organizations, healthcare providers, and individuals plan activities to raise awareness about Alzheimer's. The goal is to educate the public about Alzheimer's, share resources, and highlight the importance of early diagnosis and ongoing support.
World Alzheimer's Day Is September 21st
Activities Held at Bergen Gardens:
September 20th – Northway Pharmacy coming in to do a presentation on Brain Health.
September 21st – The Alzheimer Society of Manitoba is coming in to do a presentation on Dementia-Friendly Communities.
MoCA Cognitive Tests will also be held on the 20th and the 21st in the afternoon. Any resident who would like one done can sign up!
MoCA (Montreal Cognitive Assessment or The MoCA Test) was validated as a highly sensitive tool for early detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in hundreds of peer-reviewed studies since 2000. MoCA has been widely adopted in clinical settings and used in academic and non-academic research around the world. The sensitivity of MoCA for detecting MCI is 90%.
How Can I Help During World Alzheimer's Month?
Supporting Those With Alzheimer's
If you want to make a meaningful contribution during World Alzheimer's Month, there are several ways to get involved:
One crucial aspect of support is caregiving. Caregivers make a difference in the lives of people living with Alzheimer's by providing both practical care and emotional support. Offering to help or just being there to listen can make all the difference in the lives of a caregiver.
Understanding how to communicate with someone with Alzheimer's is essential. Using patience, empathy, and clear, simple communication can help individuals with dementia feel heard and understood.
Engaging individuals with Alzheimer's in meaningful activities can enhance their cognitive and emotional well-being. Activities like art, music, or reminiscence therapy can stimulate their memories and creativity.
By getting involved, you can help raise awareness, reduce stigma, and improve the lives of those affected by Alzheimer's and dementia.
If you are looking for Alzheimer's care and support for a loved one, Bergen Gardens provides assisted living in Winnipeg, which offers a proper environment, services, and compassionate care for individuals in need of memory care. Contact us to learn more.