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Facing Dementia

I recently came across a website created by Alzheimer’s Research UK that provides simulated insight into the real effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

In its application, Alzheimer’s Research UK harnesses “the power of Facebook to illustrate some of the symptoms experienced by the 820,000 people in the UK affected by dementia”.

According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, in 2011, 747,000 Canadians, or 14.9 % of Canadians over 65, were living with cognitive impairment, including dementia.  By 2031, if nothing changes, this figure will increase to 1.4 million Canadians.  The combined direct (medical) and indirect (lost earnings) costs of dementia total $33 billion per year, and, if nothing changes, will climb to $293 billion per year by 2040.

The Alzheimer’s Research UK website uses your Facebook account to replicate and illustrate the effects of dementia.  The dementia awareness tool presents an overlay using your Facebook photos and posts to show how dementia could affect you and your memories.

The experience is frightening, and eye-opening.

Their message is that Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of ageing, but is caused by disease.  Diseases have been beaten in the past, and with support, can be beaten again. 

The Alzheimer’s Research UK team encourages browsers to experience the simulation, and then spread the word by sharing with one’s Facebook family and friends.

Thank you for reading.

Paul Trudelle