About 61 percent of Manitobans are affected by somebody in their life with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or dementia, and about 18,500 Manitobans are living with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or another type of dementia.
The Alzheimer's Society of Manitoba is raising awareness for Alzheimer’s, and one of their key messages is that people with dementia or people who have a loved one with dementia need to connect to a community.
Liz McLeod from the Alzheimer's Society of Manitoba says the best way to connect is to get in touch with the Alzheimer’s Society.
“We can explain to them the various things that they need to know, just to give them some information on what they might be thinking about as they're going through this dementia journey.”
She says when a person gets diagnosed with dementia there are some things they need to think about moving forward.
"They may have thought that they were going to not take a trip to see their brother out in B.C., but now they're thinking ‘maybe I should take that trip and make sure that I get to see my loved ones.’”
McLeod says other things they need to consider are developing a power of attorney, will, and healthcare directive.
“And the Alzheimer's Society can connect them and direct them in all of those different directions so that they know what's most important,” she says. “We can help them navigate that journey and do it in a way with dignity, and with their families, and do it as well as we can.”
She says the Alzheimer's Society helps with “identifying resources, providing support, connecting to a community, and providing care partners and families with information, education, and resources to help care for loved ones living with dementia.”
She notes that although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are some treatment options.
“They should talk to their doctor about whether they want to see a neurologist, a geriatrician, or another medical professional that can prescribe something that may slow the disease down,” she says. “I want to emphasize that there's no cure, but there can be ways to slow it down and also there can be ways to improve their day-to-day life.”
The Alzheimer's Society of Manitoba has several ways you can contact them. You can call, or email email@example.com.
With files from Michelle Sawatzky