Alzheimer Society kicks off Alzheimer Awareness Month with new campaign
Halifax, NS – January 4, 2017 – Have you forgotten words, or put something in a strange place, or have difficulty performing familiar tasks? Maybe you talked with someone who didn’t know what day of the week it was, or were wearing slippers outside on a snow day.
There are 10 common symptoms of dementia and this year, the Society wants all Nova Scotians to learn them. And we mean everyone.
“There are many scenarios where knowing the signs of dementia could help,” says Linda Bird, Director of Programs and Services at the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia. “You might work with the public, at a coffee shop, or as a bus driver. You see a customer who needs extra help. Knowing the signs of dementia, means you know how to recognize when someone needs your support and how to support them in a respectful way.”
Through this campaign, the Alzheimer Society also hopes to change the conversation about a disease that continues to be silenced. The Society is launching the #iNoticedWhen hashtag for conversation on social media, hoping that Nova Scotians will share their stories of when they noticed themselves, or someone, may have dementia.
“I wasn’t the first to notice, my wife Dorothea was,” starts Darce Fardy. “We were in St. John’s airport about five years ago and this man sat by me and we chatted. He obviously knew me. When he left for his flight I turned to Dorothea in another seat and I asked her who it was. She told me it was a guy I knew well and used to work with. It was Bob Cole, a well-known CBC hockey broadcaster.” Fardy writes a monthly column for the Chronicle Herald about living with dementia.
The Society also encourages people who recognize the signs in themselves or someone else in their life to contact their doctor to discuss what they’re experiencing.
“Some treatable conditions can produce symptoms similar to dementia such as vitamin deficiencies, thyroid disease, sleep disorders, or mental illness,” says Bird. “It’s really important, if you are concerned, to go to your doctor. A timely diagnosis can help you access information, resources and support through the Alzheimer Society.”
To arrange media interviews, contact:
- In Nova Scotia, there are approximately 17,000 Nova Scotians with dementia.
- Dementia doesn’t define a person. They’re still the same individual as they were before their diagnosis.
- People with dementia can continue the things they love and remain active in their communities with the right help and support.
- The Alzheimer Society provides programs and support services to help people with all forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, and their caregivers to live as well as possible.
- In celebration of Alzheimer Awareness Month we are holding Alzheimer Awareness Breakfasts across the province. There are four in total including in Berwick, Sydney, Halifax, and Bridgewater. They're all taking place next week. Each includes a keynote speaker about supporting Nova Scotians living with dementia. Tickets are available by calling 1-800-611-6345 or by clicking here.
Tracy Ashley, Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia
(902) 222-9177 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Available for interviews:
Darce & Dorthea Fardy
Linda Bird, Director, Programs and Services, ASNS
Lloyd Brown, Executive Director, ASNS
Last Updated: 01/06/17