Alzheimer's Care in Ontario

Overview of Alzheimer’s Care in Ontario

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia - a brain disorder that affects millions of people across the globe. It is not a normal part of aging and no one is immune. Some of the symptoms include memory loss, changes in mood and behaviour, and difficulties performing day-to-day tasks.Independent Living in BC

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be a complex task; fortunately there are many resources, services and care options. In Ontario Alzheimer’s Care is offered by Senior Homes or Retirement Homes in Ontario, Assisted Living Residence in Ontario and Home Care Agencies.

Many families and caregivers find that Alzheimer’s retirement homes or Alzheimer’s assisted living residences offer a safer, more secure accommodation than their own home. It is particularly true for seniors who are prone to wandering and have difficulties performing daily activities, as Alzheimer’s care homes are specially designed and equipped to accommodate such individuals and usually have 24/7 staff that will ensure their safety and well-being.

Many Ontario Alzheimer’s Care Homes offer specialized Memory Care programs in a safe community environment. Some senior living residences have separate memory care facilities that are designed for seniors with severe cognitive impairments. Such Alzheimer’s Care residences have special features, such as secure wandering paths, colour-coded hallways, and visual cues that assist seniors suffering from dementia. Ontario Retirement homes offering Alzheimer’s care always have specially trained professional staff skilled in handling the behaviour associated with cognitive impairments.  

Ontario Alzheimer’s Homes provide most innovative Memory care services that include activity programs designed to include social interaction, mental stimulation and reality orientation classes. Recently, music therapy is offered in many specialized senior homes in Ontario.

Seniors who choose to receive memory care in the comfort of their own home, can hire Home Care Agencies that provide Alzheimer’s care. Caregivers are available on live-in or an hourly basis and services can be tailored to meet the changing needs of the individual suffering from dementia.

Ontario Alzheimer’s Organizations and Research

There are many Alzheimer’s organizations in Ontario, the largest one is Alzheimer Society of Ontario (ASO) – a charitable organization that provides leadership in care and research and is committed to helping individuals with Alzheimer's and other dementias.  ASO consists of a network of 38 Alzheimer Societies throughout the province. Staff and volunteers of ASO provide care, support, information and education for seniors living with dementia.

In Ontario Alzheimer Society offers an innovative program called First Link® which provides support and counselling and connects individuals newly diagnosed with dementia with local health professional across Ontario and other Alzheimer Society programs and services.

Alzheimer Society of Canada in partnership with RCMP developed a MedicAlert® Safely Home® program that is available in Ontario and other provinces across Canada. It helps police to find missing people who have dementia and return them safely to their home. Currently more than 30,000 Canadians registered for this program.

The Kenneth G. Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP) is another well known program in Ontario. This innovative program integrates extensive research and diverse educational activities with the goal to improve dementia care practices in Canada.

Another great resource for families of people who have been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia is booklet published by Regional Geriatric Program of Eastern Ontario From Home to Retirement Home - A Guide for Caregivers of Persons with Dementia.

Image by Vince Alongi of Flickr

Find Alzheimer's Care