Caregiver Tools Archives - Page 2 of 4 - Memory Ball
Memory Ball Toronto is back with its Sixth Annual Gala Event, proudly hosted by the Young Leaders Council of the Alzheimer Society of Toronto
Memory Ball Toronto, Toronto gala events, early-onset Alzheimer's awareness, Fundraiser, Charity Events, Alzheimer's disease, Toronto Alzheimer Society, Young Professionals
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Caregiver Tools

When you think of stigmas related to health conditions, what are some of the first ones that come to mind - perhaps they are related to obesity?  Maybe smoking?  One that might not come to mind initially is Alzheimer’s disease. Emma McKay understands this stigma first hand. Her mother was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, and Emma and her family are caregivers. Emma shared with us that “the most fundamental and common way Alzheimer's disease is trivialized is through the "old age" stereotype. Memory loss is one of the most common characteristics that we as a society associate with getting old, and so Alzheimer's is often looped into a category of diminished significance because of this. I think the stigma can be even more evident when you are dealing with early-onset Alzheimer's, because the patients' themselves look young and completely normal at first glance.” [caption id="attachment_2933" align="aligncenter" width="640"]emma mckay and her mom Emma with her mom[/caption]

My experience of Alzheimer's around the Holidays

The holidays are a special time of year. I am fortunate to experience mainly positive feelings in reminiscing on Christmases and New Years gone by as I know this isn't the case for everyone.
This year was better than last. Not in the sense that my Mother's condition is any better, for us it was an easier year in terms of her comfort in social situations which helps make the short term future a little more predictable and manageable. It seems the disease has plateaued once more at a state where she isn't so agitated and anxious in small crowds.
Last year, during an annual Christmas eve gathering, surrounded by her own immediate family, my brother's and I along with other family members took shifts with my Mom. This is very stressful because it is one of the few times a year that we see many of our relatives and we wouldn't ever want to leave my Mom behind but the crowd proved to be very upsetting which, in turn, upset all of us. We had to find a quieter room or go to another level of the home.
[caption id="attachment_2904" align="aligncenter" width="625"]the stanford-fudurich family at Christmas Kath's family (from L to R) Geoff, Pat and Jamie[/caption]
 

Review by: Amanda McMillan A touching story of friendship, compassion, and a look into the complex and intense nature of caregiving.
Directed by: David Bajurny
 sybil and betts movie still
What resonates most in this documentary is the true depth of the friendship between Sybil and her lifelong friend Betts, an Alzheimer's patient.   Her patience seems natural, even though she alludes to it being a skill that Betts had taught her over the course of their friendship. Her comprehension of the disease is neither overly clinical or overly simplified, but rather what you might call a working understanding of what the disease means to and how it affects Betts. Her positivity in the face of losing what you come to understand is less than a friend and more of a true sister, is not only inspiring but humbling.
Throughut the film, there is no sense  from Sybil, or Betts' family members, of martyrdom. There is no evidence of a mentality that can often, and rightfully so, be found in documentaries about illness, of suffering. They describe the diagnosis and its effect on Betts and her life as a journey, rather than a death sentence. This is best illustrated, quite literally, through Betts' art. Sybil, a seasoned artist and teacher, exclaims repeatedly through the film that she is enchanted by the way Betts' art developed as her disease did. She was taken by her new use of colour and expression, which only helped Sybil to truly see that Betts was still Betts, still a whole person, whose journey changed in the light of this complicated and difficult disease.

Amanda Logan is an on-air personality at popular Toronto radio station Z103.5. On Saturday, March 28th, Amanda is the master of ceremonies for the sold out 4th ever Memory Ball which takes place at Palais Royale. Here, she tells us about her history with Alzheimer's.  I’m so honoured to be hosting the Memory Ball 2015. Here’s a bit about myself and my relationship with Alzheimer’s Disease. Like many, it was affected me and my family directly. When I was younger, my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. I grew up around it. My parents sat me down as a little girl, and explained to me why grandma couldn’t remember many things. Yes, there were tough and confusing times, but what always made me feel special was that I was the one person she always remembered in a hospital room full of aunts, cousins and uncles. She passed away 18 years ago this month and I carry her spirit with me all the time. [caption id="attachment_2780" align="aligncenter" width="447"]amanda logan grandmother Amanda and her grandmother many moons ago.[/caption]