You Aren’t Going to Tell Me What to Do! — Alzheimer’s in Oakville

“I’m going to lose my driver’s licence?!”

“The biggest issue stopping people from getting diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is the fear of loosing control of their lives,” says Karen Robins Education Co-ordinator of Halton’s Alzheimer’s Society.

15129348718776684_1ifphrul_bHowever, a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s doesn’t automatically mean a loss of control or freedoms, such as driving. What it does give an individual is an opportunity to learn about lifestyle choices that could make a significant difference to the quality of their life. The Alzheimer’s Society office on 2345 Wyecroft Road should be the first stop – whether you just think you might have it or know someone who might have Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s Disease is still not curable, and no new pharmaceutical treatments have been introduced in the last 5 years. However, life can still be great!

What is Alzheimer’s?

It is a deterioration of the brain’s ability to remember due to the degeneration of the brain usually occurring in middle to old age. Approximately 500,000 Canadians have Alzheimer’s of which two-thirds are women. In Oakville, there are 2,005 people who are living with Alzheimer’s. One in 11 people over the age of 65 will have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease.  It is a large number. As the baby boomer’s start retiring, that number will increase dramatically. If you are wondering if you have Dementia/Alzheimer’s or believe someone you know might have the symptoms, take the following quiz: Alzheimer’s Dementia Quiz.

What are Oakville’s resources for Alzheimer’s?

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PET scan of a human brain with Alzheimer’s disease; Photo credit: Wikipedia

There are a total of 261 beds in Oakville’s two government long-term health care facilities of which only a fraction are designated for Alzheimer’s patients: Wyndham Manor & Northridge Long Term Care Centre. This unfortunately means that only the most critical patients are looked after. So, due to the lack of beds, Halton Heathcare’sOakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital is being used as short-term facility until a bed is found somewhere – which is an extremely expensive use of hospital funds. The bed can be anywhere – so it is possible that a patient could end up kilometres away from their caregivers. However, Oakville is lucky, since its facilities are less than 15 years old. The only privately run residence that accepts Alzheimer’s patients is Sunrise Senior Living at Cornwall & Trafalgar.

The other resources for Oakville residents suffering from Alzheimer’s are Community Care Access Centre which provides in-home support and Oakville’s privately run Home Instead Nursing Care. There are also three day programs: Acclaim Heath at 1430 Trafalgar Road, and S.E.N.A.C.A’s two locations: 53 Bond Street in Kerr Village and 2521 Dundas Street West in Palermo.

Best Medicine to Improve Your Life

Learning about Alzheimer’s Disease is a great first step and there are a large number of books are available through the Oakville Public Library. A book that resonates for many patients is Different Minds. A great book for caregivers is Still Alice by Lisa Genova.  These are just a few of the suggested titles.

How to Help in Oakville:

Alzheimer’s Disease is growing and will for the foreseeable future. To support your local Alzheimer’s community, you can give your time and/or money to Oakville’s Alzheimer’s Society.  Both are equally necessary to help support Oakville’s Alzheimer patients and their families.

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