By Jasmine Franklin
It’s a disease that’s difficult to recognize and even harder to understand — but it’s something one local woman is dedicated to making people understand.
Alzheimer’s is a mental disease that not only affects those who live with it but also their caregivers. That’s a role Maxine Jonson knows all too well, which is why she is holding an information coffee break Sept.17 at St. Mary’s Anglican Church Hall.
“We need to fundraise to get closer into finding a cure to this disease,” Jonson said. “So come find out what Alzheimer’s is about.”
All money raised will go toward the Alzheimer Society.
Alzheimer’s disease deteriorates a person’s thinking and memory ability according to the Alzheimer’s Society. There is no single known cause of the disease, and no way to stop its progression, although some drug therapies seem to slow down its progression.
Jonson’s husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s after 22 years of public service for the Ponoka and Rimbey area.
“The number of people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia is growing,” she said.
And Jonson is right.
Approximately 5,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer’s or dementia disease, and more than 71,000 of those people are under the age of 65. Fifty thousand are under 60 years old.
According to the Alzheimer Society, Alberta has the highest rate of early-onset dementia in Canada, and in 25 years one in four Canadians will have Alzheimer’s. This means, that in 25 years, one million Canadians will have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia — if nothing changes.
Jonson will provide Tim Hortons coffee at this year’s coffee break, and muffins will be homemade. Anyone interested in hosting their own coffee break is asked to call Darlene Grasdal (403) 346-2540.