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ALZHEIMER’S AND STIGMA
In 2016, it was estimated that 564,000 Canadians were living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. With 25,000 Canadians being diagnosed each year, it is important to understand how the way that we talk about these diseases affects our perceptions of people living with these diseases.
EFFECTS OF STIGMA
Stigma, or negative stereotypes, are passed through false information and can lead to negative understandings of both the disease and the people who live with it. This eventually leads to family and friends being intimidated by the prospect of helping out a loved one who has been diagnosed, or looking at dementia merely as a “normal part of old age.”
For this year’s Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada has created a quiz that tests your understanding of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in the hopes of revealing where you might need to address gaps in your knowledge surrounding the disease.
THINGS YOU CAN DO
In addition to this, the society has also compiled a list of six ways that you can make a difference in the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia:
- Learn the facts
- Don’t make assumptions
- Watch your language
- Treat people with dementia with respect and dignity
- Be a friend
- Speak up!
To learn more about what each of these steps means, follow this link to the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada.