We would like to add our voices to those affected by the lack of appropriate continuing care offered in our province.
On July 23, 2014, representatives of Early Onset Dementia Alberta (EODA) met with then-Health Minister Fred Horne and several of his colleagues to discuss the issue facing families affected by early onset-dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Foremost in our concerns was the lack of appropriate continuing care.
Our spouses are typically physically healthy; and still have the ability to participate in community and activities.
But often they require more care and support than can be managed at home, and their families must accept “care” at facilities meant to support the infirm.
Our needs are very different; like Jerry Orpe, who is currently waiting at South Calgary Health Centre, our partners still like to walk, bowl, go out for lunch with friends.
Often “in care” before the age of 65, they typically require less nursing care and more recreational and occupational therapy.
However, their dementias mean they need more assistance and monitoring than is offered in assisted living.
Studies have proven that stimulating environments result in less need for behavioural medication, and few interventions.
Sadly, the province of Alberta offers few choices and none are directed to the needs of the younger population.
Like so many, our spouses do not fit in either assisted living or in long term care.
Having no other options, hospitals become the holding centre for our loved ones.
Red Deer Representative
For the members of Early Onset Dementia Alberta (EODA)