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Collaborative approach helps create meaningful connections for people with dementia

Caregivers and families can work together to discover best approaches

Many people with dementia living in long-term care homes are in the late stages of the disease and may have difficulty verbally communicating. This can make it challenging for their families and caregivers to connect with them, but there are tools available to help create meaningful connections, says the Alzheimer Society of Canada’s director of education Mary Schulz. Read more

Canadian dementia strategy should start at the grassroots: DOC

‘A strategy like this can only benefit people, and it’s long overdue,’ says Lesley Dale

Burnbrae Gardens director of care (DOC) Lesley Dale says she’s applauding the Canadian government’s move to create a national dementia strategy, but adds that to make it successful engagement should start at the grassroots level. Read more

Online test may be valuable tool in detecting Alzheimer’s

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SAGE developed to foster early diagnosis

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 — Deron Hamel

A new online test developed by Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center may help flag early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, according to researchers.

The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE) has been developed to evaluate people’s thinking processes and detect warning signs compatible with symptoms of cognitive impairment.

While the test cannot diagnose Alzheimer’s disease — further testing by a specialist is necessary to determine if a person has cognitive impairment — the test’s results can be shared with doctors to assist with diagnosis, researchers say.

“It is normal to experience some memory loss and to take longer to recall events as you age,” the SAGE website says. “But if the changes you are experiencing are worrying you or others around you, SAGE can be a helpful tool to assess if further evaluation is necessary.”

If the test indicates signs of Alzheimer’s disease, a primary-care physician can interpret results and recommend next steps. If the test does not indicate symptoms, the physician can keep the results on file and compare them to future tests to determine changes.

Diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease early is important, so people who have it or related dementia can access needed supports earlier and even avoid potential crisis situations.

“As devastating as the news can be, early diagnosis brings relief to families, gives them control over their situation and adds more years of living active and fulfilling lives,” says Mimi Lowi-Young, the Alzheimer Society’s CEO, in a statement.

The Alzheimer Society estimates 747,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia. This includes many people living in long-term care homes.

The written SAGE test evaluates several areas of cognition and takes about 15 minutes to complete. It includes questions involving short-term memory, picture recognition, spatial reasoning and drawing exercises.

Click here for more information on SAGE, including a link to download the test.

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

Wayne Rostad makes resident’s dream come true

Entertainer accepts invite to play at Almonte Country Haven

Monday, December 16, 2013 — Deron Hamel
Pat Schlievert is the latest Almonte Country Haven resident to have a wish granted by the Lanark County long-term care home’s Never Too Late to Realize Your Dreams initiative.

Having learned about the program through a story in the OMNIway in March, Pam Schlievert, Pat’s sister, revealed to staff members that Pat is a big fan of Wayne Rostad and asked the team if they could bring the singer, who lives nearby, to the home for a performance.

Almonte Country Haven resident Pat Schlievert is seen here with singer Wayne Rostad during a Dec. 6 performance at the home.Almonte Country Haven resident Pat Schlievert is seen here with singer Wayne Rostad during a Dec. 6 performance at the home.

Almonte Country Haven resident Pat Schlievert is seen here with singer Wayne Rostad during a Dec. 6 performance at the home.Almonte Country Haven resident Pat Schlievert is seen here with singer Wayne Rostad during a Dec. 6 performance at the home.

Administrator Marilyn Colton made some calls to get the ball rolling and, long story short, Rostad came to the home to perform for residents on Dec. 6, giving a special tribute to Pat.

Almonte Country Haven connected with Rostad in the summer, but the entertainer had engagements for the next few months and was unable to make an appearance at the time. As fate would have it, a holiday-time visit was available in Rostad’s schedule, which suited Pat just fine — she’s a big fan of his Christmas album, Christmas in the Valley, which he played during his visit.

“This really made (Pat) feel special; he came to her at the beginning and said, ‘I’m here because of you,’ which made her pretty happy,” Pam tells the OMNIway.

The March 4 OMNIway story about resident Pat Taylor having her wish granted to ride in an 18-wheeler was the spark that got Pam thinking of ways to have a wish come true for her sister, who moved into Almonte Country Haven in February.

Pam cared for her sister at home before Pat moved into Almonte Country Haven. With her sister living in a long-term care home Pam says she’s limited in what she can do for her — but whenever she can make a difference, she will be there for Pat.

Pam says she’s thankful to the Almonte Country Haven’s team for their resident-centred focus.

“I have to give kudos to Marilyn and the staff at the home — they really go the extra mile for residents and families,” she says.

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

Hope and Change – The G8 Dementia Summit Blogs

People Blogging about People… and Dementia

Canada is the only country in the G8 without a comprehensive Dementia Strategy.

Canada is the only country in the G8 without a comprehensive Dementia Strategy.

Blogs

The UK Dept of Health is publishing a series of blogs about dementia in the run-up to the G8 dementia summit, which is being held in London on 11 December 2013.

These blogs are also on the UK Dept. of Health Dementia Summit Website.

Video: Beth Britton talks about her dad and dementia

This short film of Beth Britton is one of a series recorded to show to delegates at the G8 Dementia Summit on 11 December 2013. … Read more →– Video: Beth Britton talks about her dad and dementia

Published: 10 December, 2013 | In BlogsHome | Tagged 

Three words to describe being diagnosed with dementia – Hilary Doxford

There are 3 words I think best sum up my experience of being diagnosed with dementia: fear, despair and hope. Fear I feel fear and … Read more →– Three words to describe being diagnosed with dementia – Hilary Doxford

Published: 9 December, 2013 | In BlogsHomeImproving research

Working together for better research – Susie Hewer

In my last blog about the G8 Dementia Summit I ended with a comment about Teamwork (Together Everyone Achieves More) and I’ve been gathering my …Read more →– Working together for better research – Susie Hewer

Published: 7 December, 2013 | In BlogsHome

Cultural projects can make a difference in clinical services – Professor Robert Howard

The Mental Health of Older Adults and Dementia Clinical Academic Group is a partnership between South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, the Institute of … Read more →– Cultural projects can make a difference in clinical services – Professor Robert Howard

Published: 6 December, 2013 | In BlogsHome

What difference can you make to dementia research? – Dr Laura Phipps, Alzheimer’s Research UK

As the UK’s leading dementia research charity, people often ask us whether they can help with the research effort in dementia. The answer is yes … Read more →– What difference can you make to dementia research? – Dr Laura Phipps, Alzheimer’s Research UK

Published: 5 December, 2013 | In BlogsHomeImproving research