Statistics Show Dementia Affects More Than 71,000 Canadians Under Age 65



    
    Number of people living with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia
    could reach 1.3 million
    

    TORONTO, Jan. 5 /CNW/ - Soon, Alzheimer's disease and related dementias
won't only be about our parent's generation. It will also be about ours.
    This comes from new data released today to mark the start of Alzheimer
Awareness Month, confirming that more than 71,000 Canadians living with
Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia are under the age of 65.
    Part of the initial findings of a study undertaken by the Alzheimer
Society in conjunction with RiskAnalytica, this new information on the
prevalence of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias paints a potentially
frightening picture about the present and future impact of dementia on
Canadian Society.
    "Of those living with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia,
approximately 15 per cent of them are under age 65. This means that it isn't
only our health care and social systems that are being overwhelmed," says
Scott Dudgeon, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Canada. "The reality is that
the businesses and industry sectors are also being affected as our boomer
generation, a generation of leaders and mentors, are affected by dementia."
    Highlights from the initial findings of the study Rising Tide: The Impact
of Dementia on Canadian Society include:

    
    -   Approximately 500,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer's disease
        or a related dementia
    -   Of the 500,000 people affected, more than 71,000 of them are under
        the age of 65, and approximately 50,000 of them are under the age of
        60.
    -   1 in 11 people over the age of 65 currently have Alzheimer's disease
        or a related dementia
    -   Women make up 72 per cent of Canadians with Alzheimer's disease
    -   Within just five years, an additional 250,000 Canadians could develop
        Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia
    -   Within a generation (25 years), the number of people living with
        Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia could reach between
        1 million and 1.3 million
    

    "As it stands today, the number of Canadians living with Alzheimer's
disease or a related dementia will more than double within a generation," says
Ray Congdon, Volunteer President of the Alzheimer Society of Canada. "This new
data only reinforces the fact that Alzheimer's disease and related dementias
are a rising concern in this country, an epidemic that has the potential to
overwhelm the Canadian health care system if changes are not made today."
    The Alzheimer Society is issuing a call to action for all Canadians this
January, asking them to do what they can to help turn the tide, and ease the
impact of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. These actions can include
making a donation to support critical research, raising their voice to this
country's parliamentarians, and doing the things they can to help reduce their
own risk of developing dementia.
    "Every Canadian has a reason to care," says Jim Mann, an Alzheimer
Advocate who was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 58. "Alzheimer's
disease and related dementias are a tragic reality for a rapidly growing
number of Canadian families. The time to act is now."
    Alzheimer's disease and related dementias are progressive, degenerative
diseases that destroy vital brain cells. They are not a normal part of aging.
Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, accounts for
approximately 64 per cent of all dementias in Canada. While each of the
related diseases has unique aspects, symptoms include a gradual and continuing
decline of memory, changes in judgment or reasoning, mood and behaviour, and
an inability to perform familiar tasks.

    The Alzheimer Society is the leading, nationwide health organization for
people affected by dementia in Canada. The Society is a principal funder of
Alzheimer research and training, provides enhanced care and support to people
with the disease, their families and their caregivers, and is a prominent
voice within all levels of government. Active in more than 140 communities
across Canada, the Society is also a key player in Alzheimer's Disease
International, an organization at the forefront of world wide efforts to fight
dementia.

    The 2009 Awareness Campaign was made possible in part through the
generosity of the following sponsors: Pfizer Canada Inc., CN, Medicine Shoppe
Pharmacy, Janssen-Ortho Inc., and Genworth Financial Canada.

    For more information on Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadian
Society, the Alzheimer Society, Alzheimer's disease or related dementias, or
how to become an Alzheimer Advocate, please visit www.alzheimer.ca





For further information:

For further information: Patricia Wilkinson, Manager, Media and
Government Relations, Alzheimer Society of Canada, Office: 1-800-616-8816 or
(416) 847-2959, Mobile: (416) 669-5715, pwilkinson@alzheimer.ca,
www.alzheimer.ca


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890