Monday, 30 January 2012

Walk for Memories

I had a wonderful experience at the Walk for Memories yesterday afternoon!

The Kitchener-Waterloo walk had a great turnout and raised almost $70,000 - enough to support the Alzheimer Society's programs for a full year.
It was such a lovely day - lots of families and smiling faces all around. I can't wait to do it again next year!

Here are a couple of photos from the day (Garth is my friend Robbie's dad, we walked in his honour).

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Living with Alzheimer's.

I came upon this powerful photo essay today and wanted to share it.

Angel Serrano was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease, and passed away at the age of 56. In the final years of his life, his family (wife Dioni, daughter Cristina, and son Carlos) devoted virtually all of their time and energy caring for Angel.

Photographer Kenneth O'Halloran spent time with the Serrano family, chronicling their lives and journey with Alzheimer's disease. It is very affecting to witness the power of this family's love for their husband and father. As we know, the role of caregiver is not an easy one.

I hope you find it as beautiful and moving as I did.

Monday, 16 January 2012

When Dementia is in the House

I was really interested to read the first issue of the Canadian Dementia Knowledge Translation Network's (CDKTN) newsletter.
In particular, I'm excited about the launch of a new website called When Dementia is in the House. This website was designed especially for teens and tweens who have a parent or grandparent with dementia.

According to the CDKTN:

This website is based on research, as well as advice from other experienced adolescents. Parents can find guidance on talking to their children about this disease and how to balance parenting with caring for a loved one with dementia.

The website was developed by Dr. Tiffany Chow, MD and Katherine Nichols. Nichols was inspired to speak publicly on the impact that a dementia diagnosis can have on families after her husband was diagnosed at age 59. At the time, Nichols' children were 10 and 12 years old.

Partners on this project include the Canadian Dementia Knowledge Translation Network, Dalhousie University, the Young Carers Initiative, McMaster University, Powerhouse Project, NICE, Baycrest (Rotman Research Institute), Department of Neurology, University of Toronto and The University of California Berkley.

Read more about this initiative and how to talk to your kids about dementia at Today's Parent online.

Via Today's Parent

Friday, 13 January 2012

Happy (belated) New Year!

Well, here we are, almost two weeks into 2012 (time flies when you're having fun!).

In the spirit of new year's resolutions, I would like to share this article about seven health risks that may contribute to the development of Alzheimer's Disease.

Regardless of our age, we can all focus on a happier, healthier lifestyle in 2012.

Via NutriHealth
All the best for the new year (and the upcoming weekend).

Here are some interesting bites from around the web:

Is it normal age-related memory loss or something more serious? This article helps you make decisions about when to get help for your loved ones.

A quick and easy applesauce bread recipe that packs a nutritional punch.

Get a glimpse of living life with dementia through Twitter. The tweets are based on the journal of Jim Mann, diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease at the age of 58, and will be shared throughout January. To learn more, follow @AlzheimerBC or search the #injimshoes hashtag.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Honouring Lives in Long Term Care

A colleague of mine brought this article to my attention today - it's worth a read!
Via Windsor Star
The staff at the Village of Aspen Lake have a unique and special way of honouring the lives of the people they have cared for. This movement toward relationship-centered care is exactly what MAREP and our partners advocate for. Personally, I think it's a lovely story, and I only hope that my loved ones will receive the same standard of care as they age.

Interestingly, a heated debated has broken out in the Comments section of this article. When does care cross the line from professional to inappropriate?

Read the comments and decide for yourself!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Alzheimer Awareness Month

January is Alzheimer Awareness month.

How will you recognize it with your loved ones or organization?

Many people (like me) will be participating in the Walk for Memories. If you are interested in participating, don't forget to register soon!

This will be my first Walk for Memories and I'll be walking with a team. My friend Robbie's dad was recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's, and his family and friends have created a team in his honour. 

I was looking online at footage from walks and I found this video of a dance mob at a Walk to End Alzheimer's in Seattle (things get really jazzy around the 2:30 min mark). I love the fun and joy that the mob brought to the event.

Speaking of the Alzheimer Society, they've recently launched a new campaign called Let's Face It. the campaign is in response to recent survey which indicates that almost half of respondants lived with symptoms of dementia for over a year because they didn't know the facts.

I think the campaign video is simple and effective.

January is a great time to figure out how you can Get Involved with your local Alzheimer Society or other organizations!
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