A campaign has been launched to end the stigma surrounding those living with Alzheimer’s disease.
The Alzheimer Society of Manitoba says 50 percent of Canadians surveyed said they wouldn’t want others to know if they had dementia. The findings come as January is marked by Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.
“Hopefully this campaign will spark conversations and encourage Manitobans to see dementia differently,” said Wendy Schettler, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Manitoba.
The survey, carried out by Leger on behalf of the society, questioned 1,500 people between the ages of 18 and 65. It also found 46 percent of respondents would feel ashamed or embarrassed if they had dementia, while 61 percent said they would face discrimination of some kind.
Other results showed one in four Canadians believe that their friends and family would avoid them if they were diagnosed with dementia, and only five percent of Canadians would learn more about dementia if a family member, friend or co-worker were diagnosed.
The Alzheimer Society of Manitoba is encouraging people to talk about the disease on social media using the hashtag #ilivewithdementia to help spread the word.
There are currently more than 22,500 Manitobans living with Alzheimer’s disease.