September 18, 2020

By REYHAN ENVER

If the human brain was like a video recorder, our memory could retain three million hours of TV shows, according to Paul Reber, a psychology professor at Northwestern University. In an article in the magazine, Scientific American Mind, he says you would need to leave your television running for more than 300 years to fill that space.
Although that capacity is available to most of us, it begins to diminish if you have Alzheimer’s.
Roughly 60 per cent of Canadians who live with a type of dementia (loss of cognitive ability) have Alzheimer’s disease. An Alzheimer article on Canada.com estimates that over one million Canadians will be living with some sort of dementia by 2038.
The older we get, the higher the risk we have of developing the disease. It is also said that women are more likely to develop the disease than men.
The reason people get Alzheimer’s isn’t clear, nor is there a cure. However, there are many warning signs to look for if you think you or someone you know may be at risk of developing the disease.
According to the Alzheimer Association of Canada, make sure you watch for memory loss that affects day-to-day function, difficulty performing familiar tasks, problems with language, disorientation of time and place, poor or decreased judgment, problems with abstract thinking, misplacing things (such as putting a phone in the fridge), changes in mood and behaviour, changes in personality and loss of initiative.
If you notice any of these signs in someone or yourself, the next step would be talking to your family doctor. Although there is no cure, there are ways to help treat it and slow it down.
It is often hard to notice if someone is developing Alzheimer’s or any type of dementia in the early stages. It takes a lot of attention and you must be ready to notice subtle changes.
Shane Rees, a 23-year-old Waterloo resident whose grandmother has dementia, has seen the downward spiral that these diseases cause.
“She would know how to get somewhere for the past 20 years and all of a sudden she would be asking for directions,” Rees said. “We really started to think something was wrong when she couldn’t find their house anymore. These days, she has her good days and bad days. On her bad days she can’t remember anyone. There are also days in the middle where she remembers selective faces. She’s still the person she was, she still makes everyone laugh and she still mothers us all.”
Some families also decide to try to remind the member affected by Alzheimer’s/dementia of their life every day.
“We put a collage in her room of every family member, so whenever someone comes over they can point to their picture to let her connect a face to a name if she can’t remember,” Rees said.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association of Canada, forming routines is a good way to help someone know what to expect. Someone with Alzheimer’s should be given some sort of consistency. For starters, it’s good to keep certain events at the same times every day, such as when they wake up and when family visits, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
January is Alzheimer’s awareness month which reminds the public that it is important to know exactly what Alzheimer’s is, despite all the myths, so that we are able to help those in our lives who may have to deal with the disease.
To gain more awareness about Alzheimer’s, go to www.alzheimer.ca.
By REYHAN ENVER

If the human brain was like a video recorder, our memory could retain three million hours of TV shows, according to Paul Reber, a psychology professor at Northwestern University. In an article in the magazine, Scientific American Mind, he says you would need to leave your television running for more than 300 years to fill that space.
Although that capacity is available to most of us, it begins to diminish if you have Alzheimer’s.
Roughly 60 per cent of Canadians who live with a type of dementia (loss of cognitive ability) have Alzheimer’s disease. An Alzheimer article on Canada.com estimates that over one million Canadians will be living with some sort of dementia by 2038.
The older we get, the higher the risk we have of developing the disease. It is also said that women are more likely to develop the disease than men.
The reason people get Alzheimer’s isn’t clear, nor is there a cure. However, there are many warning signs to look for if you think you or someone you know may be at risk of developing the disease.
According to the Alzheimer Association of Canada, make sure you watch for memory loss that affects day-to-day function, difficulty performing familiar tasks, problems with language, disorientation of time and place, poor or decreased judgment, problems with abstract thinking, misplacing things (such as putting a phone in the fridge), changes in mood and behaviour, changes in personality and loss of initiative.
If you notice any of these signs in someone or yourself, the next step would be talking to your family doctor. Although there is no cure, there are ways to help treat it and slow it down.
It is often hard to notice if someone is developing Alzheimer’s or any type of dementia in the early stages. It takes a lot of attention and you must be ready to notice subtle changes.
Shane Rees, a 23-year-old Waterloo resident whose grandmother has dementia, has seen the downward spiral that these diseases cause.
“She would know how to get somewhere for the past 20 years and all of a sudden she would be asking for directions,” Rees said. “We really started to think something was wrong when she couldn’t find their house anymore. These days, she has her good days and bad days. On her bad days she can’t remember anyone. There are also days in the middle where she remembers selective faces. She’s still the person she was, she still makes everyone laugh and she still mothers us all.”
Some families also decide to try to remind the member affected by Alzheimer’s/dementia of their life every day.
“We put a collage in her room of every family member, so whenever someone comes over they can point to their picture to let her connect a face to a name if she can’t remember,” Rees said.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association of Canada, forming routines is a good way to help someone know what to expect. Someone with Alzheimer’s should be given some sort of consistency. For starters, it’s good to keep certain events at the same times every day, such as when they wake up and when family visits, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
January is Alzheimer’s awareness month which reminds the public that it is important to know exactly what Alzheimer’s is, despite all the myths, so that we are able to help those in our lives who may have to deal with the disease.
To gain more awareness about Alzheimer’s, go to www.alzheimer.ca.By REYHAN ENVER

If the human brain was like a video recorder, our memory could retain three million hours of TV shows, according to Paul Reber, a psychology professor at Northwestern University. In an article in the magazine, Scientific American Mind, he says you would need to leave your television running for more than 300 years to fill that space.
Although that capacity is available to most of us, it begins to diminish if you have Alzheimer’s.
Roughly 60 per cent of Canadians who live with a type of dementia (loss of cognitive ability) have Alzheimer’s disease. An Alzheimer article on Canada.com estimates that over one million Canadians will be living with some sort of dementia by 2038.
The older we get, the higher the risk we have of developing the disease. It is also said that women are more likely to develop the disease than men.
The reason people get Alzheimer’s isn’t clear, nor is there a cure. However, there are many warning signs to look for if you think you or someone you know may be at risk of developing the disease.
According to the Alzheimer Association of Canada, make sure you watch for memory loss that affects day-to-day function, difficulty performing familiar tasks, problems with language, disorientation of time and place, poor or decreased judgment, problems with abstract thinking, misplacing things (such as putting a phone in the fridge), changes in mood and behaviour, changes in personality and loss of initiative.
If you notice any of these signs in someone or yourself, the next step would be talking to your family doctor. Although there is no cure, there are ways to help treat it and slow it down.
It is often hard to notice if someone is developing Alzheimer’s or any type of dementia in the early stages. It takes a lot of attention and you must be ready to notice subtle changes.
Shane Rees, a 23-year-old Waterloo resident whose grandmother has dementia, has seen the downward spiral that these diseases cause.
“She would know how to get somewhere for the past 20 years and all of a sudden she would be asking for directions,” Rees said. “We really started to think something was wrong when she couldn’t find their house anymore. These days, she has her good days and bad days. On her bad days she can’t remember anyone. There are also days in the middle where she remembers selective faces. She’s still the person she was, she still makes everyone laugh and she still mothers us all.”
Some families also decide to try to remind the member affected by Alzheimer’s/dementia of their life every day.
“We put a collage in her room of every family member, so whenever someone comes over they can point to their picture to let her connect a face to a name if she can’t remember,” Rees said.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association of Canada, forming routines is a good way to help someone know what to expect. Someone with Alzheimer’s should be given some sort of consistency. For starters, it’s good to keep certain events at the same times every day, such as when they wake up and when family visits, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
January is Alzheimer’s awareness month which reminds the public that it is important to know exactly what Alzheimer’s is, despite all the myths, so that we are able to help those in our lives who may have to deal with the disease.
To gain more awareness about Alzheimer’s, go to www.alzheimer.ca.
Myths and Truths about Alzheimer’s:
Myth: Because someone in my family has Alzheimer’s disease, I’m going to get it.
Truth: Only a small percentage (five to seven per cent) of people will develop Alzheimer’s due to genes.
Myth: Only old people get Alzheimer’s.
Truth: Age creates a much higher risk of developing the disease, but even people in their 40s have been diagnosed.
Myth: There’s a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
Truth: There is no cure yet.
Myth: You can prevent Alzheimer’s.
Truth: You cannot prevent it; you can only lower your risk by making certain lifestyle choices.
Myth: All people with Alzheimer’s disease become violent and aggressive.
Truth: Everyone is affected differently.
Myth: Alzheimer’s isn’t a fatal disease.
Truth: Actually it is fatal.