Alzheimer Society campaign aims to end stigma in Cranbrook

Almost 50% of Canadians would not want others to know if they had dementia, says new survey

For the Townsman

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. announced today that while awareness about dementia has increased, stigma and negative attitudes about it continue to persist.

The Society is releasing findings of a new survey to coincide with Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in January and to kick off its new social awareness campaign – I live with dementia. Let me help you understand – to spark conversations and encourage Cranbrook residents to see dementia differently.

The Leger-led online survey, which canvassed 1,500 Canadians between the ages of 18 and 65, also reveals that 46 per cent of respondents would feel ashamed or embarrassed if they had dementia, while 61 per cent of those surveyed said they would face discrimination of some kind.

According to the survey, one in four Canadians believe that their friends and family would avoid them if they were diagnosed with dementia, and only five per cent of Canadians would learn more about dementia if a family member, friend or co-worker were diagnosed.

“Stigma significantly affects the well-being of people living with dementia,” says Carla McDonald, Support and Education Coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of B.C. for Cranbrook and the East Kootenay region.

“In order to build a dementia-friendly society, we need to move away from fear and denial of the disease, towards awareness and understanding.”

To tackle stigma, the Alzheimer Society is letting the experts – people affected by dementia – do the talking. One of these experts is Mario Gregorio, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia at the age of 58.

Mario and others invite Cranbrook residents to hear their inspiring stories and take a few pointers from them on how to be open and accepting towards people living with dementia.

Their stories are featured on a dedicated campaign website, where visitors will also find tips on how to be more dementia friendly, activities to test their knowledge, and other resources to take action against stigma and be better informed about a disease that has the potential to affect every single one of us.

To help stop stigma and read the full survey, visit ilivewithdementia.ca – and use the hashtag #ilivewithdementia to help spread the word.

Other survey highlights

• 56 per cent of Canadians are concerned about being affected by Alzheimer’s disease;

• Of greatest concern is the fear of being a burden to others, losing independence and the ability to recognize family and friends;

• Only 39 per cent would offer support for family or friends who were open about their diagnosis;

• Three in ten Canadians (30 per cent) admit to using dementia-related jokes.

Quick facts about dementia

• Today, more than half a million Canadians have dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease);

· In less than 15 years, an estimated 937,000 Canadians will have dementia;

• Alzheimer Societies across Canada provide programs and support services for people with all forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, as well as their caregivers

• The Alzheimer Society is a leading Canadian funder of dementia research and has to date invested over $50 million in bio-medical and quality-of-life research through the Alzheimer Society Research Program.

Just Posted

MP Stetski secures $600K for summer jobs funding

The Kootenay Columbia region is receiving $625,097 in federal assistance for summer… Continue reading

Cranbrook vet receives Quilt of Valour

Local Quilts of Valour representative Cindy Postnikoff presented another quilt this week,… Continue reading

RCMP report for April 16 to April 23

Cranbrook RCMP responded to 121 calls over the week past

Osprey nest at Idlewild finds immediate occupants

A pair of osprey have taken up residence and are in the process of building their new home overlooking the newly rehabilitated dam and lake at the Cranbrook park

Property offences up in Q1 crime stats: RCMP

New municipal traffic unit helping make a postive impact, says detachment commander.

WildWear shifts couture culture on the recyclable runway

Images of the eighth annual MBSS Trash Fashion Show

At the Cranbrook Public Library for April 24

Column: At the Library for April 24 Mike Selby ‘Never Rest On… Continue reading

Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates death of B.C. man

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the killing of 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

$1.18 to $1.58 a litre: Are you paying the most for gas in B.C.?

Gas prices across B.C. vary, with lowest in Vernon and highest in – you guessed it – Metro Vancouver

Inquest set 10 years after B.C. woman shot, left to die

Lisa Dudley, and her partner, Guthrie McKay were shot in their Mission home in September 2008

B.C. hockey team to retire Humboldt Bronco victim’s number

BCHL’s Surrey Eagles to retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 in light of bus tragedy

B.C. Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

The Culture Guard group has helped Hells Angels in the past, said its executive director.

B.C. bill aims to keep Indigenous kids in communities, out of care

Changes to Child, Family and Community Service Act could connect MCFD, Indigenous communities

Most Read