Published online at GlobalTVEdmonton.com on January 25, 2011.
Linda Hoang, Global News: Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Baby boomers don’t know signs of Alzheimers: Survey
Results from a new online survey of baby boomers across Canada show a startling number of people don’t know the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
Conducted by the Alzheimer Society, the survey reports that 23% of boomers can’t name any of the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
This is increasingly alarming as baby boomers make up the country’s largest demographic group, with the first of Canada’s 10 million baby boomers turning 65 this year and the risk of getting the disease doubling every five years after that age.
“This is the segment of the population probably going to be impacted most dramatically by alzheimers disease and dementia generall,” said Bill Gaudette with the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories.
Of those surveyed, 50% listed memory loss as Alzheimers’ biggest symptom, but weren’t able to mention other key indicators.
“Everybody knew something about alzheimer’s affecting memory, but beyond that they knew very little about many of the warning signs,” Gaudette said. “Memory loss, change in personality, disorientation… we hear about stories of wandering, don’t know who they are, don’t know other people are.”
Gaudette said knowing risk factors for the disease can help reduce chances of getting it.
January is Alzheimer Awareness Month in Canada.
If you’d like to test your own knowledge on dementia, go to www.alzheimer.ca/testyourknowledge.