A recent survey of American ‘baby boomers,’ or adults aged 53-71, discovered that 43% of these individuals either manage or assist in managing finances for an aging parent; almost two thirds (28%) of these people help with this management and 15% take full responsibility. Likelihood of managing or helping to manage parents’ finances increases with age. Most baby boomers become involved because of a sense of obligation and/or being asked for assistance.
The latest national dementia data from the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System (CCDSS) was released this week. These data inform us that over 402,000 older adults in Canada are living with dementia; 76,000 new diagnoses are made every year; and 2 out of 3 Canadians living with dementia are female. This new information set illustrates dementia prevalence across gender, age, and geographic location, as well as indicating the impact the disease has on society; the government will use these data to inform Bill C-233, the national dementia strategy.
This week, Bill C-233, an act respecting a national strategy for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, was passed. Canada will be implementing a national dementia strategy that will take into account the high prevalence, medical needs, and financial impact of the disease. The bill was co-sponsored by the Honourable Rob Oliphant, Don Valley West MP, and Rob Nicholson, Niagara Falls MP, along with the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science, and Technology.
Neurons communicate with each other through chemicals called neurotransmitters. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an important neurotransmitter that prevents unnecessary neural activity resulting from neurons firing too often or because of inconsequential stimuli that do not warrant a response. Small impairments in the GABA signaling system (which results in increased neural activity) have recently been proven to be associated with cognitive disorders such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease; up until this point, it was unclear whether these impairments had an impact on cognition.
The government of Ontario is funding a new long-term care home in downtown Toronto. The home will include a specialized unit for people living with dementia and will serve as a replacement for the current institution downtown; improvements include greater accessibility, increased privacy, better trained and greater numbers of staff, and room available for rehabilitation. Chair of the Rekai Centres Board Peter Rekai stated that their “new Rekai Centre at Cherry Place will provide over 200 long term care beds.