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VIDEO: Rude, impulsive behaviour could be early sign of dementia

As dementia cases climb in Canada, research suggests certain behaviours — including apathy, lack of impulse control and social inappropriateness — could be warning signs

By 2030, an estimated 1-million Canadians will suffer from dementia. By 2050, that number could hit 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: dementia is inflicting a devastating toll on Canadians — and the people who love them.

Daniella Vellone experienced that toll 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 and socially inappropriate behaviour — could be early indicators in people over 50.

"It’s important to understand what dementia is and how it manifests," Vellone wrote. "I didn’t imagine my grandmother’s strange behaviours were an early warning sign of a far more serious condition. She would become easily agitated if she wasn’t successful at completing tasks such as cooking or baking. She would claim to see a woman around the house even though no woman was really there. She also became distrustful of others and hid things in odd places."

Vellone was a recent guest on Village Media's Inside the Village podcast, along with Dr. Zahinoor Ismail, a leading dementia expert and professor at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute.

You can watch the full episode HERE.

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.

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