January is Alzheimer's Awareness Month

January 4, 2018 | Lynn

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This time of year, everyone is worrying about sticking to their New Year's resolutions (which with luck, will stick around longer than a few days), but there is something else to be thinking about. January is Alzheimer's Awareness Month here in Canada. This can be an extremely difficult disease to watch a loved one go through and each year, 25,000 new people are diagnosed, according to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. That means 25,000 families are learning to deal and cope with this diagnosis each year, including Jann Arden's.

Arden is a successful Canadian singer and songwriter who is beloved in Canada. She comes off as very honest with her songs and now, her books. Her latest book, "Feeding My Mother", discusses the reality of having parents who now need her due to Alzheimer's. This book is based on her Facebook posts about the daily struggles she faces, like many other people in their 40s and 50s who are dealing with older parents. It might help remind people that they are not alone in their struggles and that humour can help you get through many things.

  Feeding my Mother:comfort and laughter in the kitchen as my mom lives with memory loss

Arden has been sharing her struggles with the world, because why not let the world know that she deals with tough situations just like everyone else? These posts are honest, real and funny, making the book easy to relate to and enjoyable for many readers. If you or a family member have had experience or perhaps are currently dealing with dementia, this book can help make it a little more bearable.

Can't we talk about something more pleasant?

This graphic novel by Roz Chast makes you laugh out loud, then you question whether it's okay to be laughing about your parents' aging and eventual death. The author takes you along as she deals with her aging parents who don't want to face their decline in health and the shifting of roles between parent and child – an awkward phase for both adult children and their parents. This book can be a great read if you have elderly parents, as it helps you realize that you are not alone in your struggles. It could also help adult children broach those tough topics with their parents about their future needs.

If you are seeking non-fiction materials on how to cope with Alzheimer's, then please consult a physician and check out the titles below.

Supporting parents with Alzheimer's: your parents took care of you, now how do you take care of them?

Book

This book demonstrates the importance of communication and how to document the day and care routines so that everyone caring for the patient understands what has been happening. The author of this book draws from her own experience of caring for her mother with her sister-in-law and how they worked to ensure that the quality of care continues.

A loving approach to dementia care: making meaningful connections with the person who has Alzheimer's disease or other dementia or memory loss

Book

The author of "A Loving Approach to Dementia Care" highlights the idea that a person with dementia may not always recognize you or remember who you are, but there are still ways to make their lives enjoyable.  She also talks about the signs to watch out for and the problems with denying issues as they present themselves.

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