Every year on Sept. 21, Alzheimer associations, families and volunteers across the globe unite to recognize World Alzheimer’s Day and the important strides we are making toward increasing awareness and combating the stigma.
Ponoka volunteer Maxine Jonson is hosting an information morning from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Anglican Church, 5120 – 49 Avenue to mark the day.
The morning will include a special guest speaker from the Centennial Centre who specializes in dementia, door prizes and information from the Heads Up! For Healthier Brains program that outlines what people need to know about brain health and Alzheimer‘s disease. As part of the Coffee Break fundraising campaign, coffee, tea and snacks will also be provided. All activities and snacks are free but donations are most welcome. Anyone can take part in this do-it-yourself fundraiser by making a donation in exchange for a cup of coffee.
This year’s national target goal is $1.5 million.
Jonson is the wife of former Ponoka-Rimbey MLA Halvar Jonson who was diagnosed with Alzheimer`s disease in December 2005.
“This day is very much about education and any kind of prevention we can manage,” says Jonson. “Alzheimer’s disease leaves families powerless to do much against it and I like to be involved because it is something positive that I can do to help other people. I urge everyone to come out and learn a bit about keeping their brains healthy for many years to come.”
About Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the leading form of dementia. It is a fatal progressive disease of the brain that robs memory and steals the ability to reason, communicate and perform daily tasks. Changes in the brain can begin to appear decades before diagnosis and progression can last between seven and 10 years. Eventually, the person affected will require 24-hour care and supervision. Age is the single biggest risk factor but the disease can strike as early as 40.
Today in Alberta approximately 40,000 people have dementia, with 17 per cent of these having been diagnosed under the age of 65. This gives Alberta the highest prevalence of early onset in Canada. Alzheimer’s disease has no known cause or cure.