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INSIDE THE VILLAGE: Spotting early signs of dementia can make all the difference

This week on the podcast: By 2030, an estimated 1-million Canadians will suffer from dementia. Research suggests that promptly identifying certain behavioural changes — including apathy, lack of impulse control and social inappropriateness — can help delay the disease's progression

​Welcome back to Inside the Village, a one-of-a-kind podcast where all news is local — and no topic is off-limits.

On this week's episode: The scourge of dementia.

By 2030, it is estimated that 1-million Canadians will suffer from some level of dementia. By 2050, that number could climb to 1.7-million.

Here's another scary stat: in 2020, care partners (including family members, friends and neighbours) spent 26 hours per week assisting older Canadians living with dementia — the equivalent of 235,000 full-time jobs, or $7.3 billion annually.

Bottom line: this disease is taking a devastating toll on Canadians and the people who love them.

Daniella Vellone experienced that first-hand. A PhD candidate in medical science and imaging at the University of Calgary, she watched her grandmother's health deteriorate into a diagnosis of dementia. In a recent article, she wrote about how certain behavioural changes, including apathy, lack of impulse control or socially inappropriate behaviour, could be early indicators of dementia in people over the age of 50.

Vellone joined us on the podcast this week, along with Dr. Zahinoor Ismail, a leading dementia expert and professor of psychiatry, neurology, epidemiology and pathology at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute.

If you're over 50, or care about someone who is, this is a must-watch episode.

Hosted by Scott Sexsmith and Michael Friscolanti, the Editor-in-Chief of Village Media, Inside the Village is a news and current affairs podcast that provides a weekly window into some of the best local journalism from across our chain of Ontario newsrooms. Produced by Derek Turner, the program also explores bigger-picture issues that impact people across the province.

Every episode is available HERE. If you prefer the audio version, it is available wherever you find your favourite podcasts.

Have something to say? You can reach us at [email protected].

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