Higlights of Canadian research and policy news.

This news brought to you by the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program and brainXchange. 

Baby Boomers Manage their Aging Parents' Finances


Monday, June 26, 2017

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.

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Baby Boomers Manage their Aging Parents' Finances

Monday, June 26, 2017

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.

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National Dementia Data Report

Monday, June 26, 2017

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.

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Canada to Implement a National Dementia Strategy

Monday, June 26, 2017

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.

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Neural Hyperactivity May Lead to Dementia

Monday, June 19, 2017

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.

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Long-Term Care Home Opening in Toronto

Monday, June 19, 2017

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.

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Music Helps People with Various Brain Disorders to Communicate

Monday, June 19, 2017

The University of Plymouth recently conducted a study around music and verbal communication; a music intervention was implemented for people who had difficulty communicating verbally (or post-verbal people) due to various types of brain pathology, including dementia, autism, stoke, and brain damage.

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Living Near a Park Protects against Loneliness in Old Age

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) recently conducted an email survey in an effort to discover the factors that protect against loneliness with age. Not surprisingly, the results showed that those who are married are much less likely to feel lonely. However, there is another equally effective way to avoid loneliness: frequently spending time in parks. Living near a library follows closely behind; these factors both outweigh the benefits of having children or grandchildren.

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Chronic Pain Linked to Higher Risk of Dementia

Friday, June 9, 2017

A new study out of California suggests that there may be a link between chronic pain and dementia. Researchers followed 10 000 seniors for 12 years and found that those who reported moderate to severe chronic pain at the start of the study as well as two years in showed a faster cognitive decline over the course of the next 10 years than participants who reported no pain. Lead researcher Elizabeth Whitlock stated that “elderly people need to maintain their cognition to stay independent.

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Care Partner Characteristics

Friday, June 9, 2017

A recent study from the American Geriatrics Society set out to answer a number of questions about caregiving: who tends to take on the role of care partner, which groups are most often cared for, what does caregiving consist of, and what impact does caregiving have on the care partner? Making use of information gathered in the 2011 National Health and Aging Trends Study and National Study of Caregiving, researchers determined the major characteristics that care partners share. Most care partners take care of older adults that do not have dementia or another disability.

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