Sharing Caregiving Strategies to Address Risky Behaviour Changes in Dementia

Caring for someone with dementia is a long and challenging journey. Over the course of this disorder memory, cognitive function and other abilities deteriorate. Behaviour can also change over time in ways that are completely out of character for that person. For instance, the person with dementia may display aggressive behavior or get angry and act out. This can be very difficult as a caregiver and can lead to many questions. Is this typical? Is there something I can do to change this potentially risky behaviour? Getting these answers to caregivers is important for improving both care and safety in the home.

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A Holistic Way to Think About Our Health and Reframe Disability

No one likes to be defined by an illness, disorder or disability – even when we are a patient. Our ‘health’ is not only based on our biology, but also by our relationships with friends and family and our ability to do the things we enjoy. Researchers Drs. Peter Rosenbaum and Jan-Willem Gorter from our cerebral palsy research program (CP-NET) wrote a concept paper[1] explaining how holistic thinking towards health can create a better framework to approach childhood disability. This framework helps to identify the ability and potential in persons with disabilities like cerebral palsy so people can work with them the same way we should with anyone else.

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Building Networks Fundamental to Improving Health Impacts

Since the inception of Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) in 2010, we have been forging ahead with a singular mission – improve the lives of the over one million Ontarians living with a brain disorder.

OBI’s work focuses on three key areas: engaging patients in research; catalyzing evidence into practice and promoting a culture of evaluation. Through these efforts we are working alongside with communities and organizations to achieve a greater health impact than we could drive independently. Impact stories from each of the three areas help understand the rationale behind our approach and the results it has achieved thus far. Continue reading “Building Networks Fundamental to Improving Health Impacts”

Promoting Wellness and Resiliency in Communities

In Canada, suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds. For First Nation’s youth, the rate of suicide is five to seven times higher than that of non-Aboriginal youth. Although the incidence of suicide for each First Nation community is different, these statistics remain unacceptably high, inevitably devastating the overall well-being of many close-knit communities. Continue reading “Promoting Wellness and Resiliency in Communities”

Enhancing the Neuroscience Research System through Strategic Collaborations

Brain disorders affect one in three Ontarians and the direct cost to the province exceeds $4 billion each year. The indirect costs from work missed and the emotional costs for families are incalculable and create an urgency to address brain health by means of innovation and translational research that can improve the quality of life for people living with brain disorders. Continue reading “Enhancing the Neuroscience Research System through Strategic Collaborations”

Physical activity protects us from losing brain function

By Shaalee Sone, Outreach Intern, Ontario Brain Institute

As our population ages, Canadians are looking for ways to prevent dementia. As of 2010, there are 136 000 Ontarians living with a confirmed diagnosis of dementia. In addition to the impact on individuals and their families, the direct cost to the Ontario health care system is eight times higher for an individual living with dementia than it is for the average Ontarian. Continue reading “Physical activity protects us from losing brain function”

Searching for signs of depression and suicide

By Shaalee Sone, Outreach Intern, Ontario Brain Institute

Individuals who have attempted suicide often say that if one person had taken a minute to ask them how they were feeling it could have prevented them from engaging in suicidal behaviour. While it’s healthy to regularly discuss feelings with loved ones, and we want to support those in need, how can we tell when someone is contemplating suicide and if we should talk about it with them? Beyond individual help, it can also be challenging to find systemic help. A recent ICES report found that mental health and addictions care for youth is poor in five provinces, including Ontario.

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