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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rising number of dementia cases

The AlzheimerSociety has released a study called Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society. They refer to the present and future numbers of individuals suffering from dementia as "a dementia epidemic".

At present, 500,000 Canadians have dementia. The study predicts that within 30 years, there will be more than 1.1 million Canadians with dementia.

The study goes into quite a bit of detail about the incidence of dementia, its cost and its potential impact on long-term care facilities and health care resources. It's pretty frightening! Anyone working in the field of mental incapacity should have a look at it (the executive summary is about 20 pages).

If you'd like to see the study, click here.

The study was referenced in a story by Conal Pierse in today's Edmonton Journal. The woman who was the subject of the story, Chris Nelson, was diagnosed with dementia while looking after her ageing mother who also has dementia. Ms. Nelson makes a statement that people misunderstand the early stages of dementia and sometimes draw other conclusions about her behaviour, such as thinking she's lazy. I think she is right that people draw unfavourable conclusions about dementia sufferers.

If you'd like to read the Edmonton Journal story, click here.

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