By Contributor
January 26th, 2015

Nearly three-quarters of Canadians living with Alzheimer’s disease are women. It’s an eye-opening statistic, but it’s not news to the many  families whose lives have been altered by the dementia journey.

“Women represent 72 per cent of Canadians living with Alzheimer’s disease,” says Julie Leffelaar, the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s Support & Education Coordinator for Trail and the West Kootenays.

“They could be your mothers, wives, sisters, grandmothers or friends.”

That’s why the Society’s annual Alzheimer Awareness Month campaign in January has adopted the theme The 72%. It aims to inform women in their 40s and older about the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, brain health and how the programs and services of the non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C. can help. More women than men are living with Alzheimer’s disease because they live longer and age is a significant risk factor, Leffelaar says. The risk of dementia doubles every five years after age 65.

Women also account for 70 per cent of family caregivers. “The disease takes a tremendous toll on these women who eventually provide round-the-clock care. The burden is especially high for women raising families and holding down jobs.” Though women are disproportionately affected, “Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias affect everyone,” Leffelaar points out.

More than 70,000 people in B.C. face dementia.

The 72% Awareness Month campaign kicks off in January but local families living with dementia can receive assistance year-round from Leffelaar. She can be contacted at 250-365-6769 (toll-free 1-855-301-6742) or jleffelaar@alzheimerbc.org.


Categories: Health

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