Over the mountain to Alzheimer's - Macleans.ca

Over the mountain to Alzheimer’s

Boomers aging toward a costly dementia spike


In a society that has largely overcome its squeamishness about discussing diseases like breast and prostate cancer, afflictions of the mind remain harder to talk about. Alzheimer’s disease, and related dementias, rarely figure in popular culture—notwithstanding the Sarah Polley movie Away From Her based on Alice Munro’s story The Bear Came Over the Mountain. But new projections from the Alzheimer Society of Canada need airing: the aging of the boomer generation into its declining years will create a tenfold increase in the demand for long-term care beds and cost the Canadian economy a staggering $97 billion annually. Is our care system braced for the challenge? Are our families? Almost certainly not.

Ottawa Citizen

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Over the mountain to Alzheimer’s

  1. There are some very interesting, creative experiments in Alzheimer's Caregiving. The final book and documentary are still forthcoming, but this short video gives a wholly-engaging though slight glimpse of the full work:
    Caregivers Association presents Imagiscape Theatre's Heal Thyself @ Royal Alberta Museum [youtube bDkiBMq3ra0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDkiBMq3ra0 youtube]

  2. I was going to post something here that blames it on Harper … but … I forgot what it was!

    • Not to get all wet blanketish on you, but there's a lot more to Allzheimer's than forgetfulness. As it progresses, it ravages one's body and mind in varying ways. It's a pretty horrible way to die, and a pretty horrible decline for those around to witness and to lend help in its face.

  3. You know, I'm not really sure how we're going to afford this.

    I guess we'll do what we've learned from the boomers and borrow borrow borrow?

    • It's not just a money issue. You can't simply build facilities overnight, even with the cash in hand. Nor is there an endless supply of trained professionals to fill those facilities once built.

      The strain on families is perhaps a greater concern. The psychological and emotional toll upon spouses or other caregivers is considerable, not to mention the pragmatic time demands that increase as the disease progresses.

      We really would do ourselves a favour to do more than hope for the best, and instead take steps to educate and prepare ourselves.