Ken ‘the General’ Grant greeted many of his old friends in the room, many contacts made during his 35 years with CFRA and then 5 years with Rogers 1310. A familiar voice to all of us, Ken is now an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Association of Ottawa and Renfrew County. The new job which started as a 1-month trial, now keeps him busy teaching exercise classes to 140 seniors.
He remarked that there are 42 types of Dementia with Alzheimer being just one – the insidious fog. 1 in 3 people over 85 years of age have dementia, and 7% under 65. We are living longer and dementia is getting worse. Forgetting where you put your keys is not a sign but memory loss is one, along with language loss, difficulty making decisions, feeling disoriented, poor judgment, and loss of initiative.
The government needs to make this a priority as it is a catastrophe waiting to happen. Bed shortages will continue to increase, the cost to our medical system is very expensive, we will require longer and better health care at home, and our personal medical expenses will be unbelievable.
What can you do? Diet – eat food rich in antioxidants. Be active – regular moderate physical activity. Exercise your brain – crossword puzzles, read, play solitaire, word or number mind games, pursue a new interest, enjoy your hobbies, be social.
What can you do for your family? Visit them. Call and say hello. Learn to live with them where they are - today. Provide their comfort zone. ‘Learn to love them again’.