Nanaimo residents living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias aren’t seeking treatment soon enough.
A national survey by the Alzheimer Society identified a treatment gap among Canadians dealing with the brain diseases – a gap largely caused by low rates of awareness for the early signs of dementia.
Almost half of respondents in the survey waited at least a year to see a doctor because they thought their symptoms were simply ‘old age’.
And among B.C. respondents, 57 per cent of caregivers felt they, or their family member or friend, were reluctant to seek a diagnosis because they either thought the symptoms were part of normal aging, didn’t want to talk about it with anybody, didn’t want to see their doctor, or didn’t think anything could be done about it anyway.
Jane Hope, Nanaimo spokeswoman for the Alzheimer Society of B.C., said many mental faculties, such as remembering people’s names, can decline with normal aging.
But there are warning signs that some mental difficulties may be more severe. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include loss of memory, difficulty with day-to-day tasks, and changes in mood and behaviour.
She encourages residents who may be dealing with some of these symptoms to seek medical advice as soon as possible.
For more information, please call Hope at 250-734-4170 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.