Frequently Asked Questions


What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive and fatal brain disease. It destroys brain cells causing problems with memory, thinking and behavior.  It is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80%.


How is Alzheimer’s disease different from other forms of dementia?

Some of the other forms of dementia include (but are not limited to): vascular dementia, fronto-temporal dementia, Parkinson’s dementia, and Lewy Body dementia.


How Do I get a Proper Diagnosis?

Visiting a physician for early diagnosis is important so appropriate treatment can be started. Geriatricians, Geriatric Psychiatrists and Neurologists specialize in diagnosing dementia. Symptoms of the various dementias may be similar or overlap. Specific medical tests are needed for an accurate diagnosis.


What are the Risk Factors Associated with Alzheimer’s?

The greatest risk factor is increasing age. Most individuals with Alzheimer’s are over 65 years of age.  Your risk doubles every five years after age 65. After age 85 the risk reaches almost 50%.

Other risk factors include: heredity, genetic predisposition, elevated cholesterol levels, elevated blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, excessive alcohol consumption, and insufficient exercise.


What Treatment and Care Options are Available for People with Alzheimer’s Disease?

Medications called cholinesterase inhibitors are prescribed for mild to moderate AD. These drugs may help delay or prevent symptoms from becoming worse for a limited time and may help control some behavioral symptoms. The medications include:  Reminyl®, Exelon® (rivastigmine), and Aricept® (donepezil).


Services: Your physician may refer you to the local Community Care Access Centre to connect you with services as the need arises. Services include:


• visiting health care professionals

• caregiver relief program

• personal care & homemaking

• Day programs

• Meals on wheels

• Medication supervision


How Can the Alzheimer’s Society Help?

Services include but are not limited to: counseling, support groups, day programs, education and friendly visiting. The first link program of the Alzheimer’s Society creates and opportunity for their representative to visit you at home to make the first link with the society.


How Do I Apply for Long Term Care?

Contact your local Community Care Access Centre. They will provide information about care options in your area. The CCAC will help identify your care needs and help you explore the options best suited to your needs and personal situation.


How Do I Arrange for my Family Member to attend a day program?

Contact the local Community Care Access Centre for information on various programs available in your area.


Why does it take so long to be admitted to Long term care?

Often there are long waiting lists for long term care facilities.


What is the difference between Retirement Home and Nursing Home?

For those patients who are entirely mobile and do not need any type of medical assistance, retirement home living is a choice. These are largely buildings for seniors that include various activities and amenities – almost like a resort for the elderly.

On the other hand, nursing homes help those that need constant medical attention.


Are there any in- home helpers in addition to those paid for by the Access Centre?

Yes you can hire the same helpers to work at your home as are hired by the Access Center. Agencies offer a variety of care options. Contact the nursing agency directly.

These agencies include, but are not limited to:


• Red Cross

• Paramed Home Health Care

• ProHome Health Services

• TLC Nursing Limited