Peterbrough Alzheimer’s Annual Meeting Gives Voice To Susan Parish Who Has Dementia

Below was sent to me by one of our readers, Susan Parish.  Susan has dementia and spoke to the Peterbrough Alzheimer’s Annual Meeting.  I think it was fantastic  Susan was given the opportunity to speak up and out at a major platform.  Kudos Susan!!!

Susan Parish  and her Husband

Here is Susan’s Speech:

I Am a Retired BSC Nurse, prior to my retiring I worked the last 10 years in Long Term Care with many Alzheimers residents

Three years ago I was diagnosed with PCA (Post Cortical Atrophy)..less than 5% of Alzheimer have this variant.   The back of the brain atrophies first, therefore will have vision issues over time.  Also called brain blindness.  I was first provisionally diagnosed by Dr. Jennifer Ingram here in Peterborough, and then by Dr. Tang Way at Toronto Western Hospital.

This was then followed by treatment with medication to slow the process of the disease, and lifestyle changes involving driving, and housing among others.   These changes made early in the disease process have enabled me to experience a better quality of life

Champions for Change

The Champions for Change Program has allowed me to speak with local politicians at the provincial and federal level about gaining and keeping support for Alzheimer’s research.   I feel it is necessary to do all I can to educate the general public and politicians about Alzheimer’s concerns.

The Memory Café

My helper and I are working with the local Alzheimer’s Chapter to organize a memory café.  These cafes are working in the |Great Britain and the United States.  The memory café program works for persons with dementias and their caregivers because it provides a safe place for them to come and socialize.   It is not a drop off or a day centre.   It also is a place for caregivers because it allows them to relax, socialize, share and play games.

Small Group Homes

As persons with dementias we need a facility dedicated to persons with dementias.   These places, small residential homes are functioning well in other countries, such as Great Britain, Europe and the United States.  They are equipped with supports, or assistive devices that enable, persons with dementias to live somewhat independently in a safe environment.   People can choose to do laundry, light housekeeping or gardening in a home placed within the community.   The home is equipped with facilities to allow family and/or friends to stay overnight.

WHO Report

New landmark data from the World Health Organization in their report Dementia: A Public Health Priority show that around the world a new case of dementia occurs every four seconds. That is the equivalent of 7.7 million new cases each year. In the words of global health expert Dr. Peter Piot, dementia is a ‘ticking time bomb.’

To date, seven countries have created national Alzheimer’s plans: Australia, Denmark, France, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom. In India and other countries, plans developed by communities may shortly become government-endorsed. The United States is currently developing a plan.

Why not Canada?

·     The Alzheimer Society is urging Canada to get on the world map and develop its own plan.

We must continue to keep Alzheimers issues on the public agenda, and the politicians feet to the fire concerning funding issues.   We must come out of the shadows.

Canada needs to join the ranks of countries taking a coordinated approach to combating this growing health concern.

“We need action now,”   Alzheimers Canada has been pushing the federal government to adopt a .national strategy for the past two years.

“It’s basically time for the government to make it a priority and keep listening, but also take action.

Together, we can make a difference

Make an impact by mail

Send an e-mail

Meet with your elected official

Make that phone call

Any questions?

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