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Misericordia Community Hospital
"Going to the Alzheimer support group certainly made it easier for me."
Date : - 14/12/2007
Yvonne and Laurie Schwartz have made use of their local Alzheimer Society. For ten months after Laurie's diagnosis, they tried to keep it hidden from their friends. Yvonne says, "It was the most difficult time you could imagine. Laurie didn't want people to know. He didn't want them staring at him." They eventually joined an Alzheimer support group for people in the early stages of the disease.

At first, Yvonne would cry in support group meetings but after a while she found it easier to open up and talk.

After about the third meeting, she says, "Laurie came home one day. He went across the street to his cousin Sidney and told Sid his problem. I said, ‘oh, that's so good. Now can I tell my sisters?'"

In January 1997, Mike and Nona Crowe got the news that Mike had a probable diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. They know how valuable it is to receive the diagnosis in the early stages of the disease.

Nona learned that her local Alzheimer Society was starting a support group for people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease. Mike joined and now he's learning more about his illness and the changes to expect. "Going to the Alzheimer group certainly made it easier for me," says Mike.

Nona meets with other caregivers. She says, "At the beginning we were in denial. It can't be. It's got to be something else. But when you come to terms with it, it's a bit of a relief having the diagnosis, accepting it and saying, let's make the best of it and try to enjoy life as much as we can."

By the year 2030, ¾ million Canadians are expected to have Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

Linda LeDuc says, "Early detection and early diagnosis will give some people with Alzheimer's disease a chance to participate in the decisions affecting their future."

The Alzheimer Society provides information and support to families affected by Alzheimer's disease. The Society also funds research into the cause and cure of Alzheimer's disease and into finding improved methods of caregiving and delivering services. For more information, contact your local Alzheimer Society.
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