Dementia, Alzheimer’s presentation at library Jan. 11

The Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan and a local resident hope to inform the public about Alzheimer’s and dementia in an upcoming presentation.

Abby Wolfe, public awareness coordinator at the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan, is scheduled to give a presentation at 1:30 p.m., Friday, Jan 11, at the North Battleford Library lecture theatre. Presentation topics include the warning signs of dementia and the services of the Alzheimer Society.

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At the presentation, North Battleford’s Ida Ryhorchuk will share her story about living with dementia.

According to Wolfe, the presentation is “an opportunity for community members to learn more about dementia, the changes in abilities, behaviour and communication it can cause as well as ways they can reduce stigma.”

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are related but distinct.

“We talk about dementia as being an umbrella term that describes a set of symptoms,” Wolfe said, adding dementia isn’t a specific disease in itself, and there are a number of different types of dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is one type of dementia, and Wolfe said probably the most well-known. It is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain. Symptoms include memory loss, difficulty with day-to-day tasks and changes in mood and behaviour, an Alzheimer Society pamphlet says. An early diagnosis helps one get the proper treatment, information and support.

The Alzheimer’s Society, a pamphlet says, is dedicated to helping people build the knowledge, skills and confidence to live well with dementia.

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness month.

The Alzheimer’s Society of Canada is also running a nation-wide campaign to showcase “the unique and diverse stories of individuals from across the country living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.”

The campaign has highlighted Ron Robert, an 81-year-old who, among other things, served as advisor to Pierre Trudeau. Robert has completed university courses and studies ageism in London, Ont.

The Alzheimer Society includes a prediction that in less than 15 years, the number of people with dementia (about 500,000 now) is expected to double.

Wolfe encourages anyone of any age to attend. The presentation is free.

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