“Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and devastating form of dementia. Currently, more than 50,000 Albertans are living with some form of dementia, which also affects their family, friends and caregivers. One of the significant risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is age, so with an aging population these conditions are a global health concern. 

“Those who care for people living with dementia can also struggle to cope with their loved one’s disorientation, unpredictable moods and behavioural symptoms, personality changes, and declining physical and cognitive abilities. It can be a challenging journey but there are things that can be done so the person can live life meaningfully and well.

“While there is still no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, access to available treatments and community-based services and supports can improve quality of life and well-being. I commend the resilience of all Albertans who are living with dementia, and the caregivers and communities who support them.

World Alzheimer’s Month and World Alzheimer’s Day (September 21) foster our understanding and compassion and reduce misconceptions and stigma about this condition. With improved awareness, early symptoms can be recognized and a diagnosis can be made sooner.

“If you or someone you care for is experiencing any symptom of dementia, reach out to your health provider as soon as possible. An early diagnosis can rule out other causes of symptoms, help in understanding what is going on, and set reasonable expectations, supports and strategies in place so that the best quality of life can be achieved.

“Please reach out to the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories to additional assistance. The Alzheimer Society works to improve the quality of life for those with any dementia, and for their families and caregivers, through education, support services, and research.”