People with dementia want to be treated with compassion, dignity and respect, just like everybody else. They also want the right to participate fully in society, just like everybody else. In this issue, we learn how various individuals who are living with dementia, including Mary Beth Wighton, Roger Marple, Jim Mann and Kate Swaffer, are working hard to address stigma and change the way the world views dementia.
This issue also explores how Dementia Re-imagined, a Dementia Network Calgary initiative, challenges us to think differently about how we treat and support our friends, relatives and neighbours who are impacted with dementia.
The development of a Canadian Dementia Strategy and implementation of the Alberta Dementia Strategy & Action Plan are underway. Both will help to create a tangible framework to provide people impacted by dementia with the support they need to live the best life possible.
Changes in the brain may start to occur 20 years before symptoms are evident. Research is helping us to better understand these changes and how to reduce the risks of cognitive decline. Research is also helping us understand the role of technology and the effectiveness of targeted support.
Finally, September is World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign to raise dementia awareness and challenge stigma. Each year, Alzheimer associations from around the world unite to organize advocacy events. Consider participating in or sponsoring the Alzheimer Society of Calgary’s annual walk/run on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018.