MONTREAL, Jan. 6, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Did you know that women represent 72% of Canadians living with Alzheimer's disease? Perhaps you know one of these women! They could be your mother, wife, sister, grandmother or one of your friends.
In Quebec, we estimate that close to 68 % of people living with Alzheimer's disease are women.
The Federation of Quebec Alzheimer Societies (FQSA), its members, the 20 Alzheimer Societies of Quebec, together with the Alzheimer Society of Canada, are kicking off Alzheimer Awareness Month with a nationwide campaign called "The 72%". The campaign aims to inform women in their 40's and older about the warning signs of Alzheimer's disease and how the FQSA and its 20 Alzheimer Societies located across Quebec can help.
Women live longer than men and age is a significant risk factor. That's why there are more women living with Alzheimer's disease than men.
Yet, the impact on women is twofold. Women play an important role as caregivers, which take a tremendous toll on these women who eventually provide round-the-clock care. The burden is especially high for women raising families and working.
"With this campaign, we approach, for the first time, Alzheimer's disease from a woman perspective" says Diane Roch, Executive director at the Federation of Quebec Alzheimer Societies. Women lead busy, hectic lives, often paying the price with their own health and well-being. "We're asking women to invest time in obtaining information and understanding the warning signs. Whether they are concerned about getting Alzheimer's, have just been diagnosed or are a caregiver, we want women to reach out to their local Alzheimer Society. 20 Alzheimer Societies located across Quebec are there to support them throughout the disease. It's crucial to ask for help."
Several Quebec women have accepted to join the campaign and show their support by sharing their story. Exceptional women who feel concerned and who agreed to be the face of the campaign by joining their voice to the Alzheimer cause: Ingrid St-Pierre, author, composer, singer and spokesperson for the Federation of Quebec Alzheimer Societies; Nicole Dumais, spouse of Mr. Jacques Languirand, writer, actor, director and host of radio show "Par 4 chemins"; Louise Penny, novelist, caregiver to her husband recently diagnosed and Karen Young, author, composer and singer who is dedicating a mass "Missa Campanula" to her mother who passed away of Alzheimer's disease. The mass will be celebrated on January 18th at the church of La Visitation and February 1st at Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel.
Take a moment to know the signs
Warning signs are often misunderstood or ignored. In absence of a cure, early diagnosis allows for treatment and support so people can live as well as possible and start planning for their future needs.
"Women traditionally monitor the health and well-being of their families. So, it's even more important they understand this disease to be able to recognize changes in those they care for" adds Diane Roch.
The Federation of Quebec Alzheimer Societies invites all Quebecers to know more about the campaign and the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer's disease by visiting www.alzheimerquebec.ca/the72percent. Several changes occur for people living with Alzheimer's disease and it does not only concern their memory, but also a change in their personality, their mood, disorientation in time and space, a loss of initiative and difficulties performing familiar tasks. Visitors will also be able to download other helpful information.
Alzheimer's disease facts
Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disease that is not part of normal aging and represents the leading form of cognitive impairment. It is progressive and eventually, fatal.
Today, 125 000 Quebecers and 747 000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer or related dementia. In less than 20 years, these numbers are expected to double. For every person diagnosed, many more are directly affected, mainly as caregivers.
The risk of dementia doubles every five years after age 65. Accumulating evidence shows the disease can lie dormant in the brain up to 25 years before symptoms appear.
Age is the main risk factor but other risks factors are very well known including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking
About the Federation of Quebec Alzheimer Societies
The Federation of Quebec Alzheimer Societies is the spokesperson of the 20 Alzheimer Societies of Quebec which offer support through various programs and services Quebecers living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. The Federation represents supports and defends their rights, raises awareness on Alzheimer's disease while promoting research on its cause, a treatment and a cure.
SOURCE Federation of Quebec Alzheimer Societies
Image with caption: "Federation of Quebec Alzheimer Societies (CNW Group/Federation of Quebec Alzheimer Societies)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150106_C8479_PHOTO_EN_9942.jpg
For further information: Media contact, Nouha Ben Gaied, PhD, Director communication and fund development, Direct: 514-369-7891 ext. 225, Mobile: 514-660-9764, [email protected], www.alzheimerquebec.ca