As loved ones enter their senior years, it becomes important for the whole family to take an active role in helping to ensure they have the support, love, and care they need. But this doesn’t just mean regular phone calls and birthday outings — it also involves stepping up the role family plays in helping to keep parents and grandparents healthy.
One of the most important aspects of this is noting any sudden changes in behaviour that could indicate declining mental acuity associated with dementia, a condition that effects a growing number of Canadian seniors.
Common Symptoms of Dementia
Dementia is a general term for a state of overall mental decline that can be caused by a variety of different diseases, and around 76,000 new cases are reported every year in Canada alone. The most common of these is Alzheimer’s Disease, which accounts for two-thirds of overall cases.
For this reason, it is particularly important to be on the lookout for the symptoms most frequently associated with the onset of dementia, such as:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty communicating
- Confusion and disorientation
- Problems with complex tasks
- Issues with reasoning and solving problems
- Reduced motor function and coordination
In many cases, close family members report noticing that a partner, parent or relative would no longer be able to manage complex physical or communicative tasks that had caused them no trouble before. For others, an increased frequency of accidents around the house — such as leaving a pot boiling on the stove, or forgetting to lock the door — indicate that not all is well.
For this reason, being on the lookout for these common symptoms is essential for keeping your senior loved ones safe.
Why Catching Signs of Dementia Early Matters
Unfortunately, when it does arrive, dementia is almost always irreversible (though variants caused by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems may not be). This means that if your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or vascular dementia you will need to start making plans for care.
This is where catching dementia early can make a major difference. The earlier dementia is diagnosed, the more time a family has to include their loved one in the dementia care planning.
For example, after looking into home-based dementia care in Toronto your loved one may decide that they want to maximize the amount of time they spend in their house or apartment, enjoying their independence with the help of a personal support worker (PSW) who can help them get the most out of life and stay safe and comfortable in their home for as long as possible.
No one likes to think about the possibility that a loved one may be suffering from a disease like Alzheimer’s, but pretending everything is fine if a family member is exhibiting symptoms of dementia doesn’t help anyone.
Not only does an early diagnosis make it easier for medical professionals to expand access to treatment options, it also gives you the time you need to work with your loved one on building a plan for long-term care that takes their needs, preferences, and priorities into account.
Published By Harry Miller
Dr. Bonnie Henry wants people to stay home this Christmas as COVID-19 deaths climb in B.C. – CHEK
It’s been a deadly few days in B.C., with 111 COVID fatalities in the last week alone.
That accounts for a quarter of all deaths since the pandemic began.
“It has been a difficult week for all of us and reminds us of what we need to do right here, right now, before a vaccine,” says health minister Adrian Dix.
B.C. health officials are urging everyone to follow the public health orders, stay close to home, avoid all non-essential travel and only see people in their household or bubble.
“We are continuing to see unchecked transmissions despite our efforts,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says. “We need more than ever to stay local, stay small, not mix with others.”
That means Christmas — as we know it — is cancelled.
“What I want for Christmas is for everyone to stay home and stay safe so we can get through to next year,” says Dr. Henry.
B.C.’s top doctor won’t yet say if the ban on all events — which is in effect until Dec. 7 — will be extended.
But the premier has a strong message for the holidays:
“This is a critical, dangerous time for British Columbia with respect to COVID 19,” Premier John Horgan said. “It’s absolutely essential we reduce interactions with people. There will be difficult times ahead for family gatherings.”
Additional restrictions on indoor adult team sports are also being put in place.
And high-intensity indoor group fitness is on hold — indefinitely.
“This is the worst time for transmission,” says Dix. “What was possible in August is not possible now and no amount of arguing or litigating will change that.”
It’s a message they hope will finally get through to those following the rules, before it’s too late.
‘Dozens’ infected with COVID-19 after B.C. oldtimers’ hockey team travels to Alberta – Global News
A recent trip by a B.C. oldtimers’ hockey team to Alberta was responsible for dozens of cases of COVID-19, according to the province’s top doctor.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonny Henry used the case as an example, while again urging British Columbians to forego all non-essential travel as coronavirus cases continue to rise.
Henry would only say the team was from the Interior, and that upon their return the virus spread into the community, leading to “dozens of people who are infected.”
B.C. health officials report 12 new deaths, 834 new cases of COVID-19
“It was an adult oldtimers’ hockey team that felt it was important to continue their travel and games across the border,” Henry said Wednesday.
“For many adults it’s a very important part of their socialization — and that, right now, is risky.”
Henry said the team had returned and spread the virus to their family members, workplaces, long-term care and the broader community.
“Nobody intended to do this,” she said.
Coronavirus: B.C. Premier John Horgan on travel restrictions during Christmas holidays
“I know that people feel like, ‘Oh, it’ll be OK, we’ve not had any virus here, we will be fine.’ But this is just another cautionary tale that right now you cannot take these types of licence from the restrictions we’ve put in place.”
British Columbia has not imposed an order banning travel, but officials have called on residents and visitors not to leave their communities unless absolutely necessary.
However, travel for sport was explicitly banned in the province’s most recent round of COVID-19 restrictions.
While the majority of new cases continue to crop up in the Lower Mainland, numbers have also been trending upward in the Interior and Northern Health regions in recent weeks.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Interior Health's top doctor says people need to start acting on public health advice | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source – iNFOnews
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry often praises the vast majority of B.C. residents who are following the rules in trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
But Interior Health’s chief medical health officer Dr. Albert de Villiers has an addition to Henry’s message of keeping bubbles small, safe distancing, hand washing and wearing masks when necessary.
“People actually need to start listening and actually start acting on things we’ve been saying for quite awhile now,” Dr. de Villiers said during a news conference today, Dec. 2.
“There’s lots of other things that society says I must do. I need to wear a seatbelt. It’s not an option. I need to wear pants when I’m in public. It’s not an option. It’s true, it’s my body but I still have some responsibility to society to make sure we can keep everybody safe and healthy.”
During today’s COVID-19 media briefing in Victoria, Dr. Henry was asked about recent gatherings of about 100 people in each of Fort St. John and Dawson Creek who opposed mask wearing. She noted there were church groups meeting on the weekend as well as hockey teams travelling out of province, but said those are small numbers of people doing such things.
“Yes there are people who are flouting the rules, that’s why we have orders that allow people to be fined, and we have implemented some of the measures that we needed to take to close down places and disperse gatherings,” she said. “It makes you really angry to see the small groups of people who are trying to make a point and are misguided.”
But, she reiterated, they are in a minority.
“I also believe, in a crises like this, if we appeal to people’s better natures, that comes out,” she said.
Dr. de Villiers said the rising number of cases in Kelowna and the cluster of cases in Revelstoke don’t stem from any particular event or individual.
The cases in Revelstoke now total 46 people who live in the Interior Health region. Travellers who live elsewhere are not counted in those numbers.
Some cases did come from travellers while others revolved around homes shared by a number of people who then took it to work, Dr. de Villiers said, adding there’s even a rumour someone may have spread it during a visit to a hot springs.
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