Early diagnosis urged

Canadians are still dismissing symptoms of dementia as “just old age” based on survey results from Alzheimer Society.

Canadians are still dismissing symptoms of dementia as “just old age” based on survey results from Alzheimer Society.

Close to 50 per cent of Canadians lived a year or more with their symptoms before seeing a family doctor. Of these, 16 per cent waited more than two years.

A delayed diagnosis results in a huge treatment gap and prevents people from getting valuable information about medications, support and better disease management.

To promote the benefits of early diagnosis, in January, during Alzheimer Awareness Month, the Alzheimer Society is launching its Let’s face it! campaign.

The online survey, which was conducted in the fall of 2011, also revealed that the most common reason for the delay (53 per cent) was the belief that the symptoms were part of “old age” and would eventually go away.

More than a quarter of respondents either refused to see a doctor or saw no need to go unless symptoms grew worse.

During Alzheimer Awareness Month, the Alzheimer Society encourages Canadians to face dementia by visiting www.alzheimer

letsfaceit.ca.