The SIIP project is designed to reduce social isolation among older adults living with mild to moderate dementia, and their care partners, in Waterloo Region.
What Is Dementia?
Dementia is caused by disorders affecting the brain. Dementia is characterized by memory loss, difficulties thinking and problem-solving, as well as changes in mood, behaviour and ability to communicate.
These problems gradually worsen over time and interfere with a person’s ability to carry out daily activities and to live independently.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Other types include vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and Lewy body dementia.
Dementia and Social Isolation
The challenges associated with dementia can make it difficult for those affected to establish or maintain personal relationships, potentially causing lost connections with friends, family members and the wider community.
Canadians living with dementia regularly experience many forms of discrimination: being ignored or dismissed, being taken advantage of, being physically or verbally abused, being socially rejected or avoided.
People with dementia are often seen as incapable or their abilities are underestimated due to our stigmatized view of their condition, resulting in systems and services that promote passivity and dependence, rather than purpose, growth and resilience.
For these reasons, living with dementia puts older adults at greater risk of social isolation.
Impact on Care Partners
Care partners of people living with dementia often report high levels of stress, loss of sleep, depression and feeling worried or frustrated. Many older adult care partners may be managing their own complex health needs. The overwhelming demands of their caregiving responsibilities can have a significant impact on their physical and mental health. Care partners of people with dementia are also at risk of becoming socially isolated.
Dementia is the second largest cause of disability in older adults, and the fastest growing cause of disability in the world (OECD, 2015). In 2016 there were 564,000 Canadians living with dementia, based on data from the Canadian Study of Health and Aging. By 2031 it is estimated that the number will increase to 937,000 (Alzheimer Society Canada, 2016). Every year, 25,000 new cases are diagnosed. The majority of people with mild and moderate dementia live in the community, including many older persons with undetected dementia (Sternberg, 2000).
According to the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, the number of people diagnosed with dementia in the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network catchment area is expected to increase to more than 13,500 in 2020 (ASO, 2012).
|A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire|
Canada's first national dementia strategy sets out a vision for the future and identifies common principles and national objectives to help guide actions by all levels of government, non-governmental organizations, communities, families and individuals. In developing the strategy, we sought at all times to ensure that people living with dementia and the family and friends who provide care to them were at the heart of these efforts.
|Alzheimer Society Ontario|
Since 1983, the Alzheimer Society of Ontario has been dedicated to improving the quality of life for Ontarians living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias and advancing the search for the cause and cure.
|Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias in Indigenous Populations in Canada: Prevalence and Risk Factors|
Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are recognized as an emerging health issue in Indigenous communities. Indigenous older adults are considered to be among Canada’s most vulnerable citizens because they often face complex health issues stemming from socio-economic marginalization and a legacy of colonialism, and they face a host of barriers in accessing healthcare. They have higher rates of many of the risk factors for dementias. This paper summarizes what is known about the prevalence of ADRDs, the challenges associated with diagnosing dementias, and the risk factors associated with the development of dementias in Indigenous populations.
|By Us For Us Guides|
BUFU guides are a series of guides created by a group of talented and passionate persons with dementia and/or partners in care. The guides are designed to equip persons with dementia with the necessary tools to enhance their well-being and manage daily challenges. Guides are available online and in hard copy.
|Dementia in Canada: A National Strategy for Dementia-Friendly Communities|
A 2016 report by the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology on the issue of dementia in Canadian society, including background information, current initiatives, and recommendations for future efforts.
|Enhancing Care for Ontario Dementia Care Partners|
The Reitman Centre, part of Sinai Health System, and Alzheimer Societies across Ontario are providing in-person and online programs for people caring for family members or friends living with dementia. Gain knowledge and confidence through evidence based psychological support and skills training.
|How to Support Residents Living with Dementia|
This training video is designed for students participating in experiential learning in long-term care or retirement homes to learn about dementia and how they can support residents.
|I Live with Dementia|
The best way to understand the impact of stigma is to hear it directly from people living with dementia. Meet some of the Canadians who have generously shared their stories.
|iGeriCare: Bringing Clarity to Dementia|
A diagnosis of dementia can be challenging for patients, families, and caregivers. iGeriCare's easy to understand lessons, helpful resources and online community will help reduce stress and increase your quality of life.
|Improving the Quality of Life and Care of Persons Living with Dementia and Their Caregivers|
Canada’s aging population and the increasing prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias pose a significant challenge for Canadian families and their caregivers, and more broadly, for the health care system. The Canadian Academy of Health Sciences provides an evidence-informed and authoritative assessment on the state of knowledge, to help inform development of an effective Canadian strategy to address this challenge.
|Issues Brief: LGBT and Dementia|
This issues brief developed by the Alzheimer’s Association (USA) and SAGE outlines the unique challenges facing LGBT older adults living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias and their caregivers.
|Risk Factors for Dementia (Infographic)|
The Lancet Commission presents a new life-course model showing potentially modifiable, and non-modifiable, risk factors for dementia. Social isolation is identifed as a potentially modifiable risk factor.