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In Canada it is estimated that in the next 25 years, the number of Dementia diagnosis will dramatically increase as the average Canadian age increases. Dementia is defined as the declining of brain function. Many people over the age of 60 worry about memory loss. However, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are not just about memory loss.

Confused man imageGenerally speaking, as people age, their memory capability will change. However, this change should not significantly affect the ability to carry out daily activities. If someone suffers from dementia, it will seriously affect the person’s ability to carry out his/her daily activities. In other words, as you age, it would not be surprising to forget the name of a person that you only met once or twice. However, if you forget the names of the people whom you are familiar with, then we would suspect that this symptom may be attributed to dementia.

Thus far, there is no cure for dementia. However, dementia patients can live longer and have a higher quality life through education, home care, and medication.

The chances of Chinese people suffering from stoke is slightly higher than Caucasians; but the chances of suffering from dementia is equally common among both populations. When evaluating Chinese Canadians for dementia, their first language, education level, work background, and cultural differences should be taken into consideration. Hence the evaluation should be conducted in Chinese to ensure its accuracy.

Content by Dr. Janet Kow, Geriatrician

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