Can'’t find your keys or glasses?
Can'’t remember names, phone numbers or dates?
Is your house a wall-to-wall bulletin board covered in lists and reminders?
We used to call it senility – the apparent loss of one'’s faculties was accepted as a normal part of aging.
We are now learning this not necessarily true.
The language has changed and we now use words like delirium, dementia and Alzheimer'’s Disease. What does all of this mean and what can be done, if anything, to enable us to retain use of our mental facilities until death? What are the risk factors and who is more likely to from suffer some form of dementia?
Science has come a long way in the treatment of these diseases, and professional caregivers are learning of more effective ways to ensure individuals stricken with this disease can be cared for at home or in a care centre with dignity.
The other part of the equation is the family, particularly the elderly spouse. These people require as much assistance as the individual with the disease. What is being done for them?
Conny Schipper, President of the Alzheimer Society, Lethbridge. Conny is a former Registered Nurse who worked for six years in a Long Term Care environment. It was here that she specialised in providing care in a dementia unit. Conny has been with the Alzheimer Society for the past nine and one half years.