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Care from the heart…

Originally published in the Apple valley Scoop Issue 15 (April 2010) by Nancy Blezy RN, Nurse Manager, Careforce Health Services

“I’m sorry….it’s Alzheimer’s disease.” Walls close in. This explains the changes – but this isn’t what I/we wanted to hear. If you or your loved ones are on this journey my heart goes out to you. I have heard those words in regard to my mother.

I am the Nurse Manager of Careforce Health Services, a private home care company in the Valley and also a facilitator for the Alzheimer and Other Dementia Care Course. I frequently see clients and their families struggling through the issues dementia can bring.

“Not me” you say? The word ‘dementia’ covers a wide variety of disorders that are known to interfere with mental functioning ultimately affecting the person’s ability to care for themselves. Dementia is the umbrella-term covering many conditions – the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease. Vascular Dementia, Lewy Body’s, Pick’s Disease, Parkinson type dementia – are some other diseases that come under this title. Odds are that 1 in 4 people over the age of 85 will develop dementia in their lifetime. Dementia is NOT a normal part of aging.

I have seen the incredible benefits that knowledge and support can bring to individuals and families dealing with dementia. So first thing – get information. The Alzheimer’s Society of NS can be reached @ www.alzheimer.ns.ca or Toll-free: 1-800-611-6345. Our office has many brochures, pamphlets and resources from the Society if that is more convenient. There is also a local Caregiver Support group that meets the 2nd Thursday of every month at the New Minas Civic Centre from 7- 8:30pm.

Our goal is to educate, support and to bring dignity to the clients and families dealing with this terrible disease. You and I have the ability to make a difference that can add quality to their days. Feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions about caring for those with dementia. I can be reached at Careforce Health Services in Kentville at 365-3155 or by email at nancy@careforce.ca