Living with dementia at home, enabled by essential ParaMed supports | Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
In honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, Sheila, a ParaMed community caregiver with more than 30 years of experience, shared her personal and professional connection to dementia.
“My mother-in-law suffered from Alzheimer’s, and I know from experience how difficult it can be,” she said. “It was hard for my family, and I think that‘s a big part of the reason I enjoy helping others. It makes me happy, and gives me purpose to do my job and work with people who need the help.”
In Perth, ON, a small town south of Ottawa, Sheila travels to connect aging patients with care at home. For many in the area, without in-home support from people like her, care would otherwise be difficult to access.
“Sheila has cared for hundreds of families over the years, many of whom are or have been affected by Alzheimer’s. Her work has made a real difference,” says Cara, a ParaMed Care and Services Manager. ” Sheila’s kindness and her ability to build trust with families has enabled folks to continue to live in the place they call home, while dealing with complex needs like dementia.”
One of Sheila’s patients with dementia was a farmer who loved to walk his land. Her presence and care in his home meant that he could safely receive the care he needed in a place he loved, was familiar with and had deep roots in. Additionally, his partner was able to get the respite care she needed to continue to support her husband on an ongoing basis.
“We’ve had patients in their nineties who live alone and could do so safely because of dedicated team members like Sheila,” says Cara. ”Home is where they want to be, and our being there gives real peace of mind to their families that they are being cared for in the best possible way.”
Dementia care is a significant part of compassionate seniors’ care, and the needs among Canadians are growing rapidly.
According to research by the Alzheimer Society of Canada, in 2020, 124,000 new cases of dementia were diagnosed among Canadians. By 2030, we can expect the total number of people living with dementia in Canada to be close to one million.
Sheila is just one of our many team members who have the privilege of being entrusted with supporting patients and their families as they navigate the impacts of dementia.
To learn more about dementia, and its impact on Canadians, visit the Alzheimer Society of Canada’s website: Help and support | Alzheimer Society of Canada.