Talk to focus on brain health

Knowing the signs of Alzheimer’s can make the difference in delaying the onset of the disease.

  • Jan. 17, 2011 8:00 p.m.

Knowing the signs of Alzheimer’s can make the difference in delaying the onset of the disease.

And Jane Hope, support and education co-ordinator, north and central Vancouver Island Alzheimer Society of B.C., will be in Ladysmith on Jan. 20 to help teach people the early warning signs.

The event will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Eagles Hall in Ladysmith.

The Senior Showcase talk, to be called keeping your brain healthy, will be held at the Ladysmith Resource Centre and will focus on the 10 warning signs of dementia.

“What we are going to talk about is ways that you can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s and what are the warning signs,” said Hope.

The talk is geared towards people of all ages, said Hope, as caregivers, family and friends should also know how to spot the signs for a loved one.

The first wave of Baby Boomers are getting to the age where Alzheimer’s is a concern, said Hope, and the majority of people don’t know all the warning signs.

“This is not a disease just of the elderly,” said Hope, noting Alzheimer’s Disease can still strike people in their 40s.

In B.C., 70,000 people have a form of dementia and 10,000 are under 65, said Hope.

“When people are prepared, we can actually do something to reduce the risk of developing dementia and they can also get an earlier diagnosis,” said Hope.

Early diagnosis is key when formulating a strategy and life-planning for the onset of dementia.

The 10 warning signs are: Memory loss affecting day to day activities, difficulty performing familiar tasks, problems with language, disorientation to time and space, poor or decreased judgement, problems with abstract thinking, misplacing things, changes in mood and behaviour, changes in personality and loss of initiative.

Hope said most people realize memory loss is a sign of dementia, but people are sometimes surprised to find changes in behaviour and personality and loss of initiative are signs.