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Alzheimer Society hopes to tackle growing rates of dementia in Cornwall – The Kingston Whig-Standard

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Shelley Vaillancourt, Executive Director for the Alzheimer Society of Cornwall and District (ASCD), Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement and ASCD President George Knizenic hoisted the blue ASCD flag to mark the start of the Alzheimer’s Awareness month, on Monday January 6, 2020 in Cornwall, Ont. Francis Racine/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network

Francis Racine / Francis Racine/Standard-Freeholder

The Alzheimer Society of Cornwall and District (ASCD) is hoping to eliminate the stigma surrounding dementia, which affects thousands of residents in eastern Ontario.

“You probably have heard someone say that they had forgotten something, so they must have Alzheimer’s,” said Shelley Vaillancourt, executive director of the ASCD, during a flag-raising ceremony at the Justice Building on Monday. “That’s the stigma we’re trying to eliminate. You wouldn’t say you have cancer if you had a bump on your skin.”

Together with Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement and George Knizevic, president of the ASCD, Vaillancourt raised the organization’s blue flag in honour of January being proclaimed Alzheimer’s Awareness month.

“Even for us, as an Alzheimer Society, sometimes people will tell us that the person they care for doesn’t have Alzheimer’s, they have vascular dementia,” said Vaillancourt. “We serve all dementias, not just Alzheimer’s.”

Yet although the older members of the population are oftentimes more at risk to develop the disease, Vaillancourt stressed it isn’t always the case. Nationally, 16,000 Canadians under the age of 65 are currently living with Alzheimer’s.

“We need to re-look at how we perceive dementia and how we can provide support to those affected by it,” said Vaillancourt. “I’ve known someone affected by the disease that was in their 30s. Typically it’s in their 40s or 50s.”

According to Vaillancourt, the high proportion of seniors residing in the area has led to a rise in dementia cases in the region. She also highlighted the efforts undertaken by the city in order to make Cornwall a dementia-friendly community.

“The city has done pretty well in terms of the training,” said Clement. “In my other workplace at the legal clinic, we did that as well and what we find with that training is that it’s not just dementia-friendly, it’s accessibility friendly.”

The Cornwall Police Service (CPS) also undertakes yearly training in dealing with residents with dementia. The CPS also offers the Vulnerable Persons Registry, used to provide police and other emergency services with vital information that can be used to locate or communicate with a vulnerable person during an emergency situation.

“We’ve brought in the ASCD annually to train the officers in how to deal with people with dementia as first responders,” said Knizevic, who also happens to be a staff-sergeant with the CPS. “They can identify individuals suffering from dementia and can therefore help them get the proper help.”

Although Knizevic couldn’t provide an exact amount of how many cases of dementia the CPS has dealt with within the past few years, he said the number is high.

“It is quite common,” he said. “It’s individuals that are missing and then from there, we identify them. The Vulnerable Persons Registry provides us with added support, so that when someone does go missing, we know where we can look for them, whether it’s at the park or at Tim Hortons.”

The ASCD also highlighted the third year of the I live with dementia. Let me help you understand campaign. The latter saw Canadians living with dementia to go public in an effort to change hearts and minds and tackle discrimination they experience.

Since the campaign’s launch, over 60 Canadians with dementia, including caregivers, have gone public with their story. One of them was Lyne, an HR professional from Quebec who had to mover her 63-year-old husband Yves into long-term care following his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

“The lack of understanding and fear of Alzheimer’s creates discomfort and sadness, against which people stay, focused on their own pain,” she said. “People tend to walk away and forget about us. We feel isolated.”

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Parents more hesitant to vaccinate kids than themselves, researcher says – Clearwater Times

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Jennifer Hubert jumped at the opportunity to get her COVID-19 vaccine, but she’s not looking forward to having to make the decision about whether to vaccinate her three-year-old son Jackson.

She recognizes the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, but said she also understands her son is at a much lower risk for serious illness than older adults.

“To me it’s not a clear benefit,” she said.

While many parents were overjoyed at the news that Health Canada is considering approval of the first COVID-19 vaccine for kids age five to 11 in Canada, parents like Hubert are feeling more trepidatious, and public health officials said they are going to have a much more nuanced conversation with parents about vaccination than they did with adults.

While 82 per cent of eligible Canadians aged 12 and up are already fully vaccinated, a recent survey by Angus Reid shows only 51 per cent of parents plan to immediately vaccinate their kids when a pediatric dose becomes available.

Of parents with children in the five to 11 year age range, 23 per cent said they would never give their kids a COVID-19 vaccine, 18 per cent said they would wait, and nine per cent said they weren’t sure, according to the survey of 5,011 Canadians between Sept. 29 and Oct. 3, which cannot be assigned a margin of error because online surveys are not considered random samples.

“Most of the research that I’ve seen sort of indicates that parents are more hesitant to vaccinate their kids against COVID than themselves,” said Kate Allan, a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases at the University of Toronto.

There are several reasons parents might pause, she said.

It’s true that children are at a much lower risk of serious outcomes associated with COVID-19, and there have been very rare incidents of mRNA vaccines like Pfizer or Moderna linked to cases of myocarditis, a swelling of the heart muscle.

As of Oct. 1, Health Canada has documented 859 cases associated with the vaccines, which mainly seem to affect people under 40 years old, and people who’ve developed the complication have typically been fine.

READ MORE: 51% of parents ready for COVID jab, as Pfizer asks for Health Canada OK to vaccinate kids

“I know it’s rare, I know it’s not deadly, but I also see the risk of severe symptoms from COVID as being rare and not deadly for Jackson,” Hubert said when asked about weighing up the risks and benefits of the vaccine.

But public health experts stress that some children do suffer from rare but serious impacts from COVID-19, which can also cause myocarditis as well as the little-understood impacts of the condition known as long COVID.

They say parents should consider the less tangible benefits of vaccination as well.

“It’s less of a conversation about a direct benefit to them, and more of a community benefit,” Allan said.

The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on children, depriving them of school, time with their peers, extracurriculars — and their mental health has suffered as a result, said Dr. Vinita Dubey, associate medical officer of health with Toronto Public Health.

“Not one child has been spared from this pandemic. I mean every single child has had to bear a sacrifice because of the pandemic in one way or the other,” Dubey said.

So far Pfizer-BioNtech is the only manufacturer to request approval for its pediatric COVID-19 vaccine and Health Canada is still reviewing the data.

The regulator has promised the review will be thorough, and the vaccine will only be approved for children if the benefits outweigh the potential risks.

Policy-makers know they’re going to have to take parents’ concerns seriously as well.

On a recent tour of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Dr. Anne Pham-Huy, a pediatric infectious diseases physician.

“Vaccine confidence is going to be the most important part of it this time around,” Pham-Huy said, to which Trudeau agreed.

Dubey has published research on improving parents’ vaccine confidence when it comes to long-established inoculations like mumps and rubella.

While she offered several tips, they mainly come down to building trust. Her research focused on the role of family doctors, but she said during the pandemic anyone can be that trusted sounding board.

“It could be a faith leader, it could be an important family member or friend, someone who you trust, to help guide you to the right sources to make that decision,” she said.

With that in mind, several students from across North America launched a peer-to-peer education program called Students for Herd Immunity to allow kids to have those conversations among themselves.

The public health experts agree, the debate around vaccines has become polarized and open conversations will be the key to addressing parents’ concerns.

“I think one thing to say to parents is you don’t have to make your decision right away,” Dubey said. “I mean for those who are ready to make their decision, but it’s fine but if you have questions, seek the answers.”

Her only advice is to get those answers from a trusted source, and not social media.

READ MORE: Pfizer will ship millions of vaccine doses for kids as soon as it’s approved, Trudeau says

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press


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Sask. to offer monoclonal antibodies to some COVID-19 patients – Flipboard

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Saskatchewan won’t impose more COVID-19 measures: Premier Scott Moe

The Toronto Star – The Canadian Press • 16h

REGINA – Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he will not bring in additional COVID-19 measures because it ultimately takes away people’s personal …

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EOHU recommending flu shots for area residents, as winter approaches – The Review Newspaper

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As the fall and cooler weather arrive, they bring with them the start of flu season. According to the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, the flu shot is the best protection against the flu, and with the presence of COVID-19 in the community, getting your flu shot is more important now than ever. The flu shot has been approved for use alongside COVID-19 vaccines and is a key step in keeping healthy this season.

“It’s especially important that people get their flu shot this year,” says Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU). “Both COVID and the flu share symptoms and, despite their similarities, being fully vaccinated for COVID won’t protect you from the flu.”

“Getting the flu shot can help you stay healthy and reduce the pressure on health care centres.”

Getting the flu shot could also help reduce the demand on COVID-19 assessment centres. The fewer number of people who develop flu symptoms, the fewer who will need to get tested for COVID-19.

The flu shot is available at various locations throughout the five Eastern Counties and Cornwall, including through some healthcare providers, community health centres, participating pharmacies and by appointment at the EOHU for children ages 6 months to under 5 years, and their immediate family.

Appointments for children at the EOHU will be available as of November 1. Call to book your child’s appointment starting on October 25. Residents must bring a piece of identification to their appointment. To find out more about where you can get the flu shot, visit EOHU.ca.

Certain groups of people are at higher risk of complications from the flu and are strongly encouraged to get immunized. These include:

  • children 6 months to less than 5 years of age
  • people aged 65 and older
  • people with chronic medical conditions

If you live with or provide care to someone who falls under one of the groups listed above, or care for newborn infants and children under 6 months of age, it is also highly recommended that you get immunized. This simple step will help protect you and those around you.

For more information about the flu shot, visit EOHU.ca or call  613-933-1375 or 800-267-7120.

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