10 Million Aging Baby Boomers Heading Straight Into Alzheimer Years

One night my mother wandered I had no idea I was sound asleep When I woke up and found her she was fully dressed Her shoes were soaking wet It had rained the day before so I realized she had been out That was the turning point Thats when I knew I could no longer care for my mother at home It was beyond my control

Helen Hendersons experience with her mother Lillian is familiar to hundreds of thousands of Alzheimer caregivers across Canada It could become even more widespread over the next 30 years as Canadas 10 million baby boomers turn 65 and head straight into the age of highest risk for Alzheimers disease

Today 300000 Canadians or one in 13 people over 65 have Alzheimers disease and related dementias More than double that number or threequarters of a million Canadians will be affected by 2031

Canada could be facing an Alzheimers disease crisis in this millennium says Steve Rudin Executive Director of the Alzheimer Society of Canada and we have to act now to prevent it

Home care is a major issue says Barbara Mulrooney a Halifax caregiver who has cared for her husband Edward 61 at home for almost nine years while working

Caregivers like Mulrooney are eager for any help they can get day programs respite overnight and weekend care They are also seeking home care hours that mesh with their work schedules and increase with the diseases severity and workers trained to care for people with dementia

The Alzheimer Societys Rudin says A national home care system with national standards for home care set by the federal government could effectively address many of these caregiver concerns and help to reduce caregiver stress

Research too needs a boost With vast numbers of people likely to get this disease its even more urgent for us to find a cause and cure for Alzheimers disease and develop better methods for diagnosis caregiving and providing the needed services specific to people with this disease

A leading funder of Alzheimer research in Canada the Society commits over 1 million yearly Still more research dollars are needed says Rudin to fight this disease thats costing Canadians over 39 billion a year

The Alzheimer Society welcomes research donations from caring Canadians and encourages the federal government to make Alzheimer research a higher priority

The Society also provides support groups counselling information services and programs such as the national Alzheimer Wandering Registry that helps people return home after wandering These Alzheimer Society programs and services are also funded by donations from Canadians

For more information about Alzheimers disease its impact and how you can help contact your local Alzheimer Society

Date : 14 Dec, 2007
Reference : www.alzheimer.ca

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