Across the country, thousands of Canadians are standing up to say, ‘Yes. I live with dementia. Let me help you understand.’

Across the country, thousands of Canadians are standing up to say, ‘Yes. I live with dementia. Let me help you understand.’

6 myths people still believe about dementia

This Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, challenge the myths and stigma about dementia

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month across Canada. It’s an important time to talk about the stigma experienced by people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and to challenge the myths and misconceptions about the disease. Myths about dementia stand in the way of understanding the disease and supporting people affected by it. Below are some common myths about dementia.

Myth #1: If I’m diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it means my life is over.

Reality: If you or someone you know is diagnosed with the disease, you can live meaningfully and actively for many years. Eating a heart-healthy diet, exercising regularly, staying socially connected and doing things that challenge your brain also help slow disease progression.

Myth #2: My mother had Alzheimer’s disease, so I’m going to get it too.

Reality: Familial dementia accounts for less than five per cent of all cases.

Myth #3: Dementia is an old person’s disease.

Reality: Dementia is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain. It most often occurs in people over 65, but can affect people in their forties and fifties.

Myth #4: Memory loss means Alzheimer’s disease.

Reality: Not necessarily. You may experience trouble with your memory as you age. However, if memory loss affects your day-to-day ability to function, communicate or is accompanied by a decrease in judgment or reasoning ability, it’s best to see your doctor immediately.

Myth #5: Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented.

Reality: No single treatment can prevent Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. You can reduce your risk by exercising your mind and body, eating a heart-healthy diet, reducing stress and staying socially active.

Myth #6: There’s a cure for dementia.

Reality: Dementia remains incurable. However, seeking an early diagnosis from a health-care provider and connecting to support and education from the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s First Link dementia support can positively affect a person’s experience of the dementia journey.

Challenging stigma and misconceptions are key to building a dementia-friendly province, where people affected by the disease are acknowledged, welcomed and supported. This month, and beyond, challenge people’s misconceptions about dementia when you encounter them. Learn more about the national campaign to address the stigma of dementia – and meet people who are living with dementia – at www.ilivewithdementia.ca.

If you have questions about Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, or concerns about memory loss, visit the Alzheimer Society of B.C. website, or call the First Link Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033.

 

People who connect to the Alzheimer Society of B.C. can access support and education across the province, including support groups both for people in the early stages of dementia and for caregivers.

People who connect to the Alzheimer Society of B.C. can access support and education across the province, including support groups both for people in the early stages of dementia and for caregivers.

Just Posted

Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman Logan Rands pokes the puck away from Alberni Valley Bulldogs forward Talon Duff. (Elena Rardon/Black Press Media)
Offence sags as Cowichan Capitals reach midway mark

Caps score one goal in three games as pod season continues

BCYP Minister for the Southern Interior, Aislinn Dressler of Fernie said the Youth Parliament being virtual was a great way to learn about how the BC Parliament was operating. (Photo contributed by Aislinn Dressler)
Applications open for Islands Youth Parliament

Applications must be received by April 23

Someone used this counterfeit $50 to pay for items at the Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store in downtown Duncan in April 2021. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan businesses warned of counterfeit cash

Fake $50 passed at Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store

Martin Drakeley, North Cowichan’s manager of fire and bylaw services, says the municipality’s fire halls have responded to more fires than usual this spring. (File photo)
Dry weather, wind leads to more brushfires this spring in North Cowichan

‘Be safe. Be fire smart. Be situationally aware.’

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus is putting a 41-passenger electric bus through its paces in a three-month trial run between Nanaimo and Victoria. (Photo submitted)
Electric bus on trial run serving Victoria-to-Nanaimo route

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus trying out 41-seat electric coach for three months

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

Most Read