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Calgary sees large increase in dementia diagnoses

Last Updated Jan 12, 2020 at 5:15 pm MST

FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2015 file photo, an elderly couple walks down a hall in Easton, Pa. Research released on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 suggests many American adults inaccurately estimate their chances for developing dementia and do useless things to prevent it. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — There’s been a dramatic increase in the number of people being diagnosed with dementia.

The Alzheimer’s Society of Calgary says it has more than doubled its family education sessions.

The society says the biggest risk factor is age and we have an aging population with the baby boomers.

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January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, to reduce the stigma and encourage more families to reach out for help.

Sarah Salus with the local organization says the usual signs of the disease to watch for are problems with everyday tasks.

“If somebody can’t remember how, for instance, to get back to their house from the grocery store, and that’s a familiar journey that they do every day, then that can be cause for concern. So it’s really things that start to impact people’s lives are the first warning signs,” Salus said.

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She adds anyone can reach out at any time for support and advice.

The organization offers caregiver and family education sessions and day programs for those with dementia which also provides respite for caregivers.

According to the Society, some 17,000 Calgarians are living with a diagnosis.