Alzheimer's Awareness Month

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in Canada, bringing awareness to a disease which is affecting 20,000 Manitobans.

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that causes problems with a victim’s memory, thinking, and behaviour. It becomes more severe with time, until it interferes with the person’s daily routine and ability to perform simple tasks.

“A lot of people think that Alzheimer’s only affects older people, so they shrug it off and it loses the importance it deserves,” said Vanessa Romans, a teacher at Kildonan East Collegiate.

Romans’s grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011. He died from complications of the disease in 2015.

“It was really hard to see him like that. Around the end he would tell us that he wanted to go swimming outside even though it was the middle of winter.”

Romans said the disease is particularly terrible because the people who have it don’t realize that they need help to do things.
Marcia Wesa died four years ago after having Alzheimer’s for 18 months.
Cori Cockle’s grandmother, Marcia Wesa, was also diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She said that the disease changed a lot about Wesa’s personality when it was at its peak.

“She would swear constantly and get mad when someone she didn’t recognize tried to greet her. She didn’t even recognize her adult grandkids, she only remembered them as children.”

Cockle said that patience is key when dealing with Alzheimer’s.

“Just love them and listen, even if you’ve heard what they’re telling you ten times already. You’ll miss those things when they’re gone.”

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but treatments for symptoms are available.

Vanessa Romans and Cori Cockle share how Alzheimer's disease has impacted their lives, and how they keep the memories of their loved ones alive.
Randy and Nancy Scott share their story of living with Alzheimer's.
Erin Crawford and Kathy Diehl Cyr talk about the programs the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba provides and how the organization is raising awareness during Alzheimer's Awareness Month.
RRCTV Reporter Jenna McLeod interviews Sogol Masoumzadeh about a serious VR game to help those with early to moderate symptoms of dementia.
RRCTV Reporter Rein Cabalquinto gives insight on Minds in Motion, a fitness program designed to help those with early and moderate symptoms.
RRCTV Reporter Rein Cabalquinto gives insight on the increasing epidemic of dementia in Manitoba.