50% of dementia cases go undiagnosed or get misdiagnosed. Precious time is lost. Early care and support can make a tremendous difference and keep life from unraveling.
A recent Toronto study said that as many as 50 percent of Canadians with dementia are not diagnosed early enough, losing precious time when care and support can make a tremendous difference in their quality of life.
Earlier diagnosis has four main advantages:
It opens the door to important information and resources. These include support through local Alzheimer Societies or Alzheimer's Associations, which help people with dementia focus on their abilities to remain independent in their homes and communities longer.
With early diagnosis, people can access medications that, although not effective for everyone, have the greatest impact when taken early.
On a practical level, an early diagnosis gives someone the chance to explain the changes happening in their life to family and friends.
An early diagnosis allows families to plan ahead, medically, financially, legally and personally.
"Seventy-four percent of Canadians know someone with dementia and more and more Canadians will continue to develop the disease. We want to make sure they're getting the help they need at every stage of the disease," says Mimi Lowi-Young, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Canada. "As devastating as the news can be, early diagnosis brings relief to families, gives them control over their situation and adds more years of living active and fulfilling lives."