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Wouter and Patricia

Wouter and PatriciaMy husband, Dr. Wouter Dehaeck, was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s at age 55 in 2010.  He worked for 25 years as a family physician in Grimshaw and was loved by the community for his good service. Everyone was sad to see him retire so early in life.  He is an avid sportsman and still enjoys running, skiing and hiking. We now live in Calgary and belong to an Early Onset Dementia support group which initiated an adult day program for young people with dementia.  The day program is a pilot program and still needs a lot of fine tuning to accommodate our specific needs. We were all surprised that there was nothing in place to help us.  I still work and support our children at University, care for our parents and added to the full plate, now my spouse. My biggest fear is that in the future, I may have to hand over the care of my husband to strangers.  We have been married for 32 years and from care partner I will be reduced to visitor with no rights.  I fear he will be locked up in a facility on the third floor with no access to the outdoors. As our Minister of Health, could you please commit to giving us a national dementia plan?  Also, commit to establish a Czorny Alzheimer Centre as was done in Abbotsford, BC by Fraser Health. We need it in Alberta … a home-like environment with gardens, where family and volunteers are part of decision making.

Issues: Appropriate programs and care facilities for our young population diagnosed with dementias.

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