Stop the world… I want to get off!

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Time… what time? I can’t remember what time is anymore. I don’t want to go! I don’t want to go out! Why is everyone asking me if I’m okay? If I have to go to the bathroom? I don’t know! My daughter seems on edge every time she visits which makes me feel very uneasy. She keeps saying… ‘Mom, please go down and play cards with the others’. I don’t want to! I don’t know these people, in fact, sometimes I’m not sure I know my daughter. She keeps saying…’you used to love playing cards, why aren’t you going down to play? It will be good for you’. I know what’s good for me! Don’t tell me what is good for me… I’m your mother! I’m the adult! Everyone keeps asking me questions! I just want it all to STOP!

Dementia is a cruel disease. You can’t see or touch it, but it’s there, and it is changing. As a society we must change with it also, but are we? Canada does not have a National strategy to address current and future issues in relation to Alzheimer’s disease.

“By 2040, Canada will spend $293 billion a year on this disease alone. We have the best minds and the best of intentions, yet what is missing is a fully coordinated response to curb costs and meet the crushing needs of families and those living with this profoundly life-altering and ultimately, fatal disease.” *

We are Canada, we are supposed to have great health care, yet it is becoming clear that it needs to change and as Canadians we can no longer sit and wait. Individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and their families are not receiving the proper support, education, or the capacity to deal with this disease. This disease will NOT go away, we can’t sweep it under the rug anymore.

I don’t understand why my Mom won’t go out anymore. She used to love shopping, going for lunch, going to the hairdresser. Now all she wants to do is stay in her room and not get dressed. I think she is depressed, but every time I try to take her out, it’s always a fight. I’m trying to be patient, but she knows what buttons to push, and boy, is she pushing them! I call and she tells me one thing, and the home tells me another. Why is she lying to me?

Independence, control, and time are simply slipping away. A perfect country for Dementia care; Canada is not, but it could be. It’s time we all take our heads out of the sand and speak out when it comes to ‘care with dignity’.

You never know… our loved one or we might be the next statistic.

 

* CEO Mimi Lowi-Young Alzheimer Society of Canada

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