January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Brittney GiacchettaPsychotherapy

In Canada, January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month! Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of a dementia, and is a neurodegenerative disease that destroys brain cells. Brain cells shrink and become replaced by dense plaques. This results in one’s thinking and memory to deteriorate with time, as well as causes behaviour changes.

Those suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease may also face associated mental health symptoms. These symptoms can include difficulty recalling information, social withdrawal, confusion, changes in mood and/or personality, fatigue, feelings of anxiety, and feelings of depression. In fact, up to 40% of people with Alzheimer’s Disease meet the clinical criteria for depression.

For those enduring Alzheimer’s Disease, psychologists can help in multiple ways:

Psychologists can help clients accept the reality of their diagnosis. It is natural to feel a wide range of emotions after receiving a life-changing diagnosis, but you don’t need to face them alone!

Psychologists can provide clients with coping skills for symptoms of anxiety, depression, and agitation associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Psychologists can provide clinical evaluations and assessments by providing cognitive screening tests. These tests can help to determine the extent of cognitive impairment that is present in the client.

Psychologists can provide psychoeducation. This can include information about Alzheimer’s Disease, how the brain functions, and aging.

Psychologists can also offer caregivers emotional support and tools to prevent burnout.

If you are looking for support, please do not hesitate to reach out to Brittney via email at brittney@serenitynowwellness.ca.