Loss of memory issues should be addressed

NANAIMO: One in four Canadians has someone in their family with Alzheimer’s disease.

With the onset of age, some forgetfulness is natural and inevitable.

One might, for example, “lose” the car keys or other household objects, or forget where you heard something and/or who told you.

Those usually aren’t causes for concern.

But Nanaimo families who are seeing their family members struggle with loss of memory, difficulty with day-to-day tasks, and changes in mood and behaviour, could be dealing with something more serious.

“People may think these symptoms are part of normal aging, but they aren’t,” said Jane Hope, area education and support coordinator for the non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C.

Those symptoms could well be indicators of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.

The health issues are becoming more common. Already, one in four Canadians has someone in their family with Alzheimer’s disease. And every five minutes a Canadian develops dementia.

“If you have concerns about your memory, or are concerned about someone else, it is important that you consult with your family doctor,” said Hope.

The society can also help local caregivers who are living with dementia.

It runs a free support and information group that serves as a forum for sharing practical tips and strategies for coping with the disease.

The group helps create support and friendship with others whose lives are affected by dementia.

For more information please call Hope at 250-734-4170 or e-mail jhope@alzheimerbc.org.