Victor Garber, Caroline Cameron, Sam Roberts and David Hearn among 10,000 Dementia Friends.

Alzheimer Society encourages all Canadians to join the movement on World Alzheimer's Day

TORONTO, Sept. 21, 2015 /CNW/ - On World Alzheimer's Day, Victor Garber, Caroline Cameron, Sam Roberts and David Hearn are encouraging Canadians to join them in supporting Dementia Friends Canada, an initiative intended to increase understanding of dementia and use that knowledge to support the 747,000 Canadians who already have the disease.

Dementia is spreading faster than the search for a cure or prevention. That's why it is critical to ensure people with the disease are well supported in their communities so they can remain active and independent with quality of life for as long as possible.  

"Dementia Friends is about small changes we can each make. A little bit of time, listening and understanding makes a difference in transforming the lives and experiences of people with this disease," says Mimi Lowi-Young, CEO at the Alzheimer Society of Canada.  

Launched in June, Dementia Friends Canada is an initiative of the Government of Canada and the Alzheimer Society which has so far, attracted 10,000 friends from across Canada.

"I love this new campaign. I'm very close to my 89-year-old grandma who has dementia," says Caroline Cameron, co-host of Sportsnet's national morning show, Sportsnet Central AM. "Because we live at opposite ends of the country, I'm not able to visit her as much as I'd like, so I visit someone else's grandmother in seniors' homes in my community."

To become a Dementia Friend, visit www.dementiafriends.ca. Watch a short video on what it's like to have dementia, register and then, commit to an action and share your involvement through your social networks.

According to the Alzheimer Society, dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, is expected to affect 1.4 million Canadians over the next 16 years. Age is still the biggest risk factor but dementia can also strike people before age 65 and as young as in their 30s. Evidence also shows the disease can lie dormant in the brain for up to 25 years before symptoms appear. The majority of caregivers are family and friends and with the progression of the disease, will eventually be on call 24/7.

About the Alzheimer Society
The Alzheimer Society is the leading nationwide health charity for people living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Active in communities across Canada, the Society offers help for today through our programs and services, and hope for tomorrow by funding research into the cause, prevention and a cure.

SOURCE Dementia Friends Canada

Image with caption: "Dementia Friends Canada (CNW Group/Dementia Friends Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150921_C6696_PHOTO_EN_500936.jpg

For further information: Media contacts: Holly Thornton, PUBLIC INC., holly@publicinc.com, Mobile : 905-220-6846, www.publicinc.com; Rosanne Meandro, Director, Media Relations, Alzheimer Society of Canada, Direct: 416-847-8920, Mobile: 416-669-5715, rmeandro@alzheimer.ca, www.alzheimer.ca

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Dementia Friends Canada

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