16 September. 2019
September is World Alzheimer’s Month
Dementia is a term used to describe different brain disorders that affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.

There are currently estimated to be over 46 million people worldwide living with dementia with the number of people affected anticipated to rise to over 131 million by 2050. In fact, there is one new case of dementia worldwide every three seconds. 

At Toronto Rehab, we have expertise in addressing the full range of physical, mental, emotional and social issues associated with Alzhiemer’s disease and other types of dementia; providing strategies to help people cope with the deterioration of memory and thinking skills. Our team works with individuals to manage agitation, resistance to care, aggression and other responsive behaviours to help people live as safely as possible – whether at home or in care. 

"Thirty years ago, we saw the patient as the problem and the caregiver as the sufferer," says Dr. Keren, Geriatric Psychiatrist in Toronto Rehab's Geriatric Rehab Program. "Now we see the patient as the sufferer.”

"We've transitioned from 'we need to fix the patient' to 'we need to understand and support the patient, and the people around them will be better off, too.'"

To minimize the difficulties experienced by caregivers, including family and those in long-term care centres, we help them understand and manage behaviour changes caused by dementia, provide care tips and behavioural strategies, and offer supportive counselling for families.

Through Toronto Rehab’s Specialized Dementia Unit, we are also innovating care by studying optimal design and safety. 

In a recent study, Toronto Rehab-KITE researchers used a vision-based computing system to measure the gait and balance of people living with dementia. The results of the study suggest that falls can be predicted, even prevented, so that resources can be targeted towards those most at risk in the form of additional supervision, rehabilitation or other assistance. Learn more 

To significantly impact the wellness of our patients, the people providing their care, and visiting family, Toronto Rehab is seeking donor support to redevelop our Specialized Dementia Unit to incorporate dementia-friendly design elements. Learn more  

Your support of Toronto Rehab’s Innovation in Dementia Redesign will help advance care and improve wellbeing for those most severely affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s. For more information about supporting this initiative, please contact Arlene Boyce at 416-597-3422 ext. 3545 or arlene.boyce@uhn.ca.

In Photo (Design for Health, Spatial Studio, OCAD University): Sketches offer a look at a possible future Special Dementia Unit at Toronto Rehab.
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